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Deep Waters 'Deep Calleth Unto Deep ' -The place to go for Ministry discussions. Please keep it civil. Remember to discuss the issues, not each other.


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Old 04-09-2013, 02:59 PM
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A.W. Bowman A.W. Bowman is offline
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The Commands of Jesus

A couple of members have expressed interest in reviewing the general (universal) commands of Jesus Christ.

Trying to attach the file, Word document consisting of 24 pages and 127 kb, I quickly discovered that attached text files are limited to only 19.5 kb. That is less than one page of text for each attachment.

Therefore, I am going to break up the original file into segments and post them as a series of regular forum posts on this thread, much as I did for the original posting on another board.

So, please bear with me as I attempt to do this simple job - which will tax my tech skills.

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Old 04-09-2013, 03:16 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

An Introduction:

I will be posting more than just one per day, as noted in the body of the following text. Just keep in mind that this was originally intended to be daily series for study, not just for the casual reading.

Instructions given by Jesus


While I am studying and rethinking some of my posts in the Commandments of Jesus thread, I would like to add something to edify the leaders of the Body of Christ, something to consider for possible self examination. Perhaps even to make some adjustments in one’s thinking and/or for spiritual correction.

If one does not know, understand and put into practice the teachings of Jesus Christ, and obey His commandments, how then can one be a 'true disciple' of Jesus, or even a student of one of His appointed apostles/disciples?

So the question is: How many instructions in righteousness (commandments, aka Torah) of Jesus are recorded in the N.T,? How many do you know and which ones do you teach? Remember, instructions coming from the mouth of Jesus were not suggestions – they were orders to be obeyed.

Most Apostolic/Pentecostal preachers and teachers do rather well with four or five Pauline and book of Acts doctrinal statement, but after that they generally dry up and start substituting instructions of men on how to look, talk and act ‘holy’, according to someone’s personal convictions, ideas, or activities, thinking that that will somehow make them acceptable unto God. Well kids, that is a wasted effort, according to Jesus.

Keep this in mind, "IF A MAN LOVE ME, HE WILL KEEP MY WORDS." John 14:23. Not your words, not the words of your teacher, and not the word pined by men in some how-to book. Not good ideas, not rules and regulations created by men for men, nor by any plans, programs or activities. Not pious words or statements of faith/belief. None of these things are of any value unless and until one actually does what Jesus commanded them to do. To do - not think about, not to give mental assent to, or even to confess with one’s mouth, but to do, to perform, to accomplish, to obey.

As a reality check, Jesus gave over 145 specific instructions to His disciples to live their lives by. Without looking in your Bible, can you list twenty of these instructions?

Now granted, some of those instructions were given only to the disciples that accompanied Jesus during His earthy ministry and do not apply to everyone today. If even half of His instructions were for specific people, events or for particular defined times, that would still leave well over 70 general instructions that every disciple of Jesus should be following right now, today.

So, don’t you think it is past time that we moved on from preaching and teaching the “… doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.”? Want to be like Jesus? Then one must live like Jesus, to live our lives according to His instructions, plans and purpose. Don’t ya’ll think that might just be a novel concept worth trying? But I can tell you right now that if one should start actually living according to the commands of Jesus they will pay a heavy price for that decision. So count the costs.

Even so, why not stop playing church or doing church, or just going through the motions of holding church; let’s start being the church, aka the functioning body of Christ on earth - as He intended.

Now, that prospect may scare some and upset many. But, the question is, "Are you serious about becoming a disciple of Christ?" or a disciple of men?
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:22 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 2.

To assist us in our studies let’s take a look at one biblical principle per day that Jesus presented to His disciples (students, Talmidim). Every day I will add one more ‘principle’ of the 21 ‘principles’ that Jesus covered with His universal requirements, and that He fully expected disciples to incorporate into their lives. Question: Do they apply to us today? If so, in what way? If not, why not?

I started this thread last night (yesterday), so today let’s start off with a quick review of the basics. Remembering it is not what you know or even what you say concerning Jesus that will secure your salvation. It is a question do you obey Him? If you do, then count yourself blessed. If not, then let’s start to make some correction. Me? Well, I stand at the head of the line requiring my own list of corrections! Oh yes, I am far from being an acceptable disciple of Christ, much to my shame. Yes, I openly confess that I stand in need of implementing the first principle in my own life.

While I have listed several verses under each principle heading, each verse must be studied in its own context. Who is He speaking to? What do the individual words in these verses mean? How and when are they to be applied? How does each reference verse support the ‘principle’ heading? Each commandment (instruction in righteousness) is a Bible study (sermon) in its own right. Shell we get started?

One more question: How many times must God say something before it can be considered valid and binding? The simple answer is only one time, not two, three, ten….. So, may our studies be fruitful.

REPENTANCE

What is it, what does that mean? What does it require? How do you do it? What are the expected results from obeying the instruction(s)? And, what specifically are we to turn towards when we turn from sin? There must be a target, a goal, a source of our guidance from a godly life. What is it, and where do we find it?

1. "Repent" Matt. 4:17; Rev. 2:5
2. "Come unto Me" Matt. 11:28
3. "Seek first God and His righteousness" Matt. 6:33
4. "Forgive if ye have ought against any" Mark 11:25
5. "Deny Yourself" Matt. 16:24
6. "Ask, seek, knock" Matt. 7:7
7. "Strive to enter in at the strait gate" Luke 13:24

If I truly wish to be a disciple of Christ - what does being a disciple mean from God's perspective?

Being a disciple of Christ should be a parallel Bible study to this one.

How are we doing so far? Did everyone find the relationship of these ver4ses to the subject of repentance?

Well, let’s carry on then and take a look and the next ‘basic’ principle.

1. "Believe the Gospel" Mark. 1:15
2. "Ye believe in God, believe also in Me" John 14:1
3. "Believe on Him who He (God) hath sent" John 6:28-29
4. "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me" John 14:11
5. "While ye have light believe in the light" John 12:36
6. "Believe that ye receive" Mark 11:24

Please keep in mind what the authors meant when they used the word, pisteuo in these verses. To believe, as in giving mental assent to the truth of something, is not what how they were using the term: To credit, have confidence, conviction in the truth of a thing, etc. In verse Mark 1:15 it is even more pointed, with the addition of the word ‘en’, the emphases becomes even more pronounced, as to make the verse even more emphatic.

Now, some things you might want to so as you go through these verse (in context of course) is to take a look at some the key words and make sure you understand what the author meant when he pinned them – and it would be to one’s advantage to also check out what the translators did with those original words in order to arrive at our English translations.

Generally when we refer to the “new birth” we mean being baptized in/with the Holy Ghost. However we might also consider that there might be something we have to contribute to the process. As with all verses lifted from scripture, context is everything!
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:24 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 3

THE NEW BIRTH

1. "Ye must be born again" John 3:7
2. "Cleanse first that which is within" Matt. 23:26
3. "Make the tree good, and his fruit good" Matt. 12:33
4. "Abide in Me and I in you" John 15:4
5. "Have salt in yourselves" Mark 9:50
6. "Labor, for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life" John 6:27
7. "Rejoice, because your names are written in heaven" Luke 10:20

Take for example, numbers 5 and 6 above, what do these verses actually mean? How does one accomplish their intent and purpose? Looking for a foundational verse for a sermon? Try one of those. Number seven should give everyone pause for doctrinal consideration. When, where and how does a person get their names written in heaven, or get it “blotted out” of the ‘book’?

Is anyone getting a little ‘stretched” yet?

So, for those who have been counting we are up to number twenty of the ‘instructions’ Jesus gave for righteous living. How many of those could you list – how many have you taught on or used in support of another teaching?

We still have about four of the ‘basics’ to go through, so next we will take a look at: RECEIVING THE HOLY SPIRIT from the words of Christ.

Are you ready to continue on the journey?

Today we start with one of the more difficult instructions in righteousness with:

FOLLOWING JESUS

1. "Follow Me" John 12:26
2. "Be baptized" Matt. 3:13-15; Matt. 28:19
3. "Take this?(communion) in remembrance of Me" Luke 22:17-19
4. "Ye also ought to wash one another’s feet" John 13:14-15
5. "If any man will come after Me let him take up his cross daily" Luke 9:23
6. "Learn of Me" Matt. 11:29
7. "Continue ye in My love" John 15:9

What does “follow Me” entail? What does it require of us?
To be baptized. How many of us know how Jesus and the Apostles viewed this ceremony? We can generally quote the verses that define what a baptism should result in – but how many of us actually understand what all of those word mean in a practical sense? For example “to take on Jesus Christ”, or to join with Him in His death, burial and resurrection?

What is the “communion”? Where did it come from and why is it we do not do it as the disciples did during the first three centuries of the ‘church age’?

What is the significance of “washing feet”? What does (did) it mean and what does it signify when Jesus performed the act?

What is the cross we are each to ‘pick up’? How do we do it and what are the expected results?

Then there is the command to ‘Learn of Me”. What is it He desire of us to learn? Once ’learned’, what do we do with that information?

Number seven is a nice short requirement, yet verse 10 continues the thought with, “If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.” This should give everyone of us pause to ponder. Well, are we not in the process of identifying those commandments?

If you can’t get some good sermons out of these instructions you are trying very hard!
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:25 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 4

PRAYER

1. "Pray always" Luke 21:36
2. "Pray that ye enter not into temptation" Luke 22:40, 46
3. "Pray the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers [laborers], " Luke 10:2
4. "Pray for them which despitefully use you" Luke 6:28
5. "Pray to the Father in my name" Matt.6:6; John16:24,26
6. “And I will do whatever you ask [pray] in my name so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14
7. “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that remains, so that whatever you ask [pray] the Father in my name he will give you. John 16:16
8. "After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father, which art in heaven …" Matt. 6:9-13
9. "When ye pray, use not vain repetitions" Matt. 6:7-8
10. "Ask with importunity" John 16:24; Luke11:5-13

The first instruction is an interesting one. What does it mean to ‘pray always’? How do you accomplish that requirement?

Now, we know God is not a [the] tempter of mankind into sin – so why prayer that we be not enter into temptation?

Why pray for others to be labourers [laborers], what about ourselves? We also know that it is not the will of God for any to be lost – so what gives with this instruction?

Now items 5-7 should give us some pause for reflection. What do these different instructions mean and how are they related? It may not be as simple of a task as it might first seem.

Are these the actual words that we are to use – or are they an outline of subject matter to be included in our prayers? Are all prayers to include these words or thoughts or outline?

Item number nine: None of us are guilty of that, are we?

To ask with ‘importunity’, what does that actually entail?

A little more sermon material, don’t ya all think?

FAITH

1. "Have faith in God" Mark 11:22
2. "Be not faithless" John 20:27
3. "Neither be ye of doubtful mind" Luke 12:29
4. "Take no thought for your life" Matt. 6:25-34
5. "Let not your heart be troubled" John 14:1,27
6. "Be of good cheer" Matt. 14:27
7. "Be not afraid" Mark 5:36: Luke 12:4-7

Now here is a great subject! Faith, just what does it mean when Jesus says it? Even being ‘faithful’, I have heart it preached from everything from paying tithes, taking on a another building program to dedicated loyalty to the local pastor. Even so, I have heard precious little on what God expects from the faithful. Or, how to live and act in/or on faith. We often quote Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is ….”, and what we get are some reasonable explanations, which is okay, but what does one ‘do’ with that information? Any thoughts?
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:26 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 5

SEARCHING THE SCRIPTURES

1. "Search the scriptures" John 5:39
2. "Remember the word that I said" John 15:20
3. "Let these sayings sink down into your ears" Luke 9:44
4. "Take heed therefore how ye hear" Luke 8:18
5. "Take heed what ye hear" Mark 4:24
6. "Beware of the leaven (doctrine) of the Pharisees" Matt.16:6, 12
7. "Beware of false prophets" Matt. 7:15-17

These are very interesting verses. First items 1, 2, 6, & 7 do not instruct us to “search the scriptures’. In number one, the verse acknowledges that some folks do search the scriptures, but they cannot not rightly divide the word of truth. Number 2, instructs us to remember His words, He being the living word of God. So it is implied that one would ‘search the scriptures to see if what He says is true. In numbers 5 & 6 it is again implied that one would search the scriptures to see (test) the spirits of those who are responsible for the spiritual instruction of others. If one does not ‘know’ the scriptures, how can they test what they hear? Remember the folks of Berea?

Bible studies should be for discerning the truth of God’s character, and our God ordained instruction for living a life pleasing unto Him - not for the picking out of selected verses that appear to support some church dogma. We are all too often wrapped up into ‘proving’ what it is we think we already know, rather than discovering more of the heart of God.

We all can quote some ‘foundational truths’, but so much of what we recite is done so with little understanding, and frequently without wisdom.

It is time for us all to ‘hit the books’ once again. This time setting aside all of our accumulated knowledge, and approach the word openly, honestly, sincerely, and even innocently (as a child).

Again, in considering all of the verses listed in this thread – context is everything! Verses simply lifted out of the Bible have no value at all if they are not tied to, and understood within the context of their usage. Want to know where so much false doctrine originates? It is from the mixing and matching of verses that seem (in our English translations) to support one another, when in actually they may not!

Okay, that should be enough for today to start some mental wheals turning.

LETTING YOUR LIGHT SHINE

1. "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works" Matt. 5:16
2. "Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness" Luke 11:35
3. "Go and bring forth fruit, and bear much fruit" John 15:16, 8
4. "Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father" Luke 6:36
5. "Tell how great things the Lord hath done for thee" Mark 5:19
6. "Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields" John 4:35 [There is work to do.]
7. "Walk while you have the light" John 12:35

The first item is an interesting one. Aren’t we to do our ‘good deeds’ in private so we get our recognition from God and not man? So, what does mean to let our light shine? How does letting that light shine enable others to see our ‘good works’? What good works?

In item two, how can light also be darkness? Doesn’t light chase darkness away?

Next numbers 3 through 6 are strange inclusions in this list. Talking about fruit, things that the Lord has done, and look at a field, what does that have to do with ‘light’?

Finally, what light is Jesus speaking about here? Himself? The Holy Spirit? Your light? What light? Where is one to be ’walking’? For what purpose?

Yep, things are getting a little more complicated.

A passing question that I have posted a couple of times on the internet: How many 'gospels' are there identified in the the N.T.? What are they? How do they differ from one another? How do they relate to Jesus Christ? Now, if you can't get a little Bible study out of this it is because ......!
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  #7  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:27 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 6

THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST

Here we have a number of instructions concerning the return of Christ and what He expects of His disciples.

1. "Hold fast till I come" Rev. 2:25; Rev. 3:2-3
2. "Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh" Luke 12:40
3. "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord" Luke 12:35-36
4. "Take heed lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life" Luke 21:34
5. "Remember Lot?s wife" Luke 17:31-32 [Don't look back. Also see Luke 9:62]
6. "Take heed that ye be not deceived" Luke 21:8; Mark 13:5-6
7. "Watch" Mark 13:34-37

I think most of these should be self-explanatory. Even so, each verse contain the requirement to discover exactly what Jesus meant when He gave these instructions and what He expected the disciple to do – and by extension, what we are to do. What should our own mindset should be?

Do we teach these things to the congregation?

Now we come to another difficult subject, the –

SUPREME LOVE TO GOD

1. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, soul, mind, and strength" Mark 12:30
2. "God, and Him only shalt thou serve" Matt. 4:10
3. "Worship the Father in spirit and in truth" John 4:23-24
4. "Call no man your father upon the Earth" Matt. 23:9
5. "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God" Matt. 4:7
6. "Fear Him (God) which hath power to cast into hell" Luke 12:5
7. "All men should honor the Son" John 5:22-23

In the first instruction us how to love God. But, the real question is this: What does this verse actually mean and how does one ‘do’ it?

In number two, what is the acceptable ‘service’ that God requires?

In number three, what does this mean and how does one accomplish such worship? The answer may be a little harder to come up with than first meets the eye.

Now, number four is really a hard one, for Greek thinkers. For example, Paul himself refers to himself as Timothy’s father in the faith. Does this mean that one is not to call their biological father, father? So, what does this verse really mean?

Next we have number five. How does one ‘tempt’ God? Might have to dig a little for this one.

What are the expected results of ‘fearing’ God?

In number seven we have a rather disquieting note. Why are we to honor the son rather than worshiping Him? Why did Jesus say this, and what was He expecting to see in return? Note: The only other time the phrase “honor God” is found in the bible is Judges 9:9, and honor me (God) in Isa 29:13; 43:20, so this is not a new concept.

Loving God is a verb, not a noun. It requires action on our part – what is it?

Getting any sermon ideas yet? LOL

This is a short list of duties that Jesus is expecting us to adhere to, and it gets alittle harder, once again.
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  #8  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:29 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 7

OUR DUTY TO GOD AND MAN

1. "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's" Mark 12:17
2. "Swear not at all" Matt.5:34-37; Mark 4:22
3. "What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder" Matt. 19:5-6
4. "Agree with thine adversary quickly" Matt. 5:25
5. "We saw one casting out devils in thy name - Forbid him not" Mark 9:38-40
6. "Eat such things as are set before you" Luke 10:8

Added (7). "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost" John 6:12

The first item most folks do not have a problem with – or do they? Giving to “Caesar” seems rather easy, pay your taxes and follow the other laws of the land, as we are instructed to do. But the question really is, “Do we give unto God ‘all’ that is God’s?

Now we come to one of the wonderful paradoxes in the Bible. Number two instructs us not to swear [an oath] at all, yet under the O.T. instructions we are given many examples of where and in what manner of swearing an oath. What gives? To unravel this apparent contradiction one must dig into the word – from a Hebrew point of view. Also study Matthew chapters five through seven, not just read them.

Did God actually join you to your spouse together – or was that of your own doing? Think about it! How many marriages have you participated in where you asked God to bless the union before being convinced that God had already given His approval for it?

Now, here is another tricky one. What does it mean to “agree with your adversary”? Quickly? Context is still everything!

Now, in number five we have a real problem. One of the major problems that have been discussed on these forums has been what to do about false teachers and those who exercise spiritual authority who’ life simply does not measure up to biblical standards – especially among the ministry?

Then, there is number six. This is NOT speaking about eating pork! Jesus is a Jew speaking to Jews, so eating non-kosher foods is not the issue. If that is the case, then what is Jesus referring to? As usual with the instructions Jesus has given, there is a deeper spiritual issue being addressed.

Finally, number seven (added instruction). This instruction was given to specific men at a specific time for a specific purpose. Have you ever asked yourself why Jesus expressed such concern over the leftovers? Now, granted there was a big mess there, baskets full. But cleaning up the mess was not what Jesus was concerned about. So …?

The following list is very similar to the list just above (Duty to God and Man). It is also very similar to the Ten Commandments –

OUR DUTY TO OUR NEIGHBOR

1. "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" Matt.19:17-19
2. "Thou shalt do no murder" Matt. 19:18
3. "Thou shalt not commit adultery" Matt. 19:18
4. "Thou shalt not steal" Matt. 19:18
5. "Thou shalt not bear false witness" Matt. 19:18
6. "Honor thy father and thy mother" Matt. 19:19
7. "As ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise" Luke 6:31

I think these instructions are rather self-explanatory. Yet, the eternal questions remain, (1) Who is my neighbor, (2) Do I hate someone (kill them in my heart), (3) Have I lusted after another’s spouse or someone else, (4) Do I ever take that which is not mine to have, (5) Have I ever lied or ‘shaded’ the truth by either adding to or taking away from (omission) of facts concerning an event or situation, (6) How do I honor my mother and father, and how do I dishonor them, and (7) Is this not like number one? Hmmm.

Another ‘hard’ one for your consideration
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  #9  
Old 04-09-2013, 03:30 PM
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 8

COVETOUSNESS

1. "Take heed and beware of covetousness" Luke 12:15
2. "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven" Matt. 6:19-20
3. "Ye pay tithe and not leave (them) undone" Matt.23:23
4. "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away" Matt. 5:42
5. "Give alms of such things as ye have" Luke 11:41
6. "When thou makest a dinner… call not (invite) thy friends, nor thy brethren but call the poor" Luke 14:12-13 [Taken out of context from a parable.]
7. "[Do not ...] Make yourselves friends of the mammon?" Luke 16:9

This list is enough to stretch everyone just a little.

It covers everything from kids wanting more toys to church leaders desiring new carpet, pews, paint, etc., for the church, or even a new building. Yes, it even covers the ‘need’ to frequently buy new clothes, electronic toys, career advancement, investments, etc., etc. The personal costs in relationships and spiritual harm that comes from drive o have more – of any anything other than Christ is harmful to one’ walk with the Lord. You could preach on this for months!

G4124: πλεονεξία pleh-on-ex-ee'-ah. Greedy desire to have more, covetousness, avarice

Number two is like unto number one. If one works to lay up wealth and/or possessions here on earth and not lay up spiritual wealth in heaven, what does it profit you? You might be able to get buried in a more expensive casket? Oh yah, that’s sure to make one happier!

Now we come to a very controversial statement in number three: Out of context this statement has no meaning at all! Tithing was required only for the (food) support of the currently serving Temple priesthood, the poor and the destitute, not for the entire tribe of Levi. However this statement, opens up another modern-day doctrine (tradition) on tithing that is held in error by many. Go for it!

Number for relates to the desire (need) not only to gather in more and more, but to hold on to what one already has (selfishness).

Number four and five go together.

In number six we have yet another interesting command. It is part of a larger teaching by Jesus. Making a ‘dinner’ does not mean cooking supper. There is a lesson to be learned here. What is it?

Now we come to number seven. The text refers to ‘unrighteous’ mammon (worldly wealth). Now, how does this fit into the need to support one’s self and family? What about trying to make life a little easier from them? Is this another bag of worms?

This should keep everyone busy over the weekend.

Today, yet another hard subject:

HYPOCRISY

1. "Beware ye of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy" Luke 12:1
2. "Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes" Luke 20:46-47
3. "Do not ye after their works" Matt. 23:2-3
4. "Make not My Father?s house an house of merchandise" John 2:16
5. "Do not your alms before men, to be seen of them" Matt.6:1-4
6. "When thou prayest thou shalt not be as the hypocrites, to be seen of men, enter into thy closet and pray in secret" Matt. 6:5-6
7. "When thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not unto men to fast" Matt. 6:16-18

Hypocrisy can be defined as, “An expression of agreement that is not supported by real conviction.´ or as, “Insincerity by virtue of pretending to have qualities or beliefs that you do not really have.”

So, number one, what was the leaven of the Pharisees, which was hypocrisy?

What was the hypocrisy of the scribes, and why should one beware of them?

Number three is like number two.

In number four we have a real problem, i.e. we know the story concerning the money changers, but is this all to the lesson Jesus taught? Do we, tody, in our own way make the church a house of merchandise?

Number five is not so hard. A great many churches simply do not engage in alms giving either because they never think of it, or they don’t have any resources left after paying the church bills.

Does number six present an admonishment against corporate or public prayer? If not, what does it mean?

Last, but not least, is number seven. There is more to this one than just fasting. There is a broader implication/application.

So, how is everyone doing so far? Not to worry, we still have seven more topics to touch on.
Anyone keeping count of the number of instructions so far?

Another question I love to ask is this: For example, what did James teach on giving? What did Andrew teach concerning the problem of actually following after Jesus? Or, what did Bartholomew teach on prayer, and what did Lebbaeus teach concerning a disciple’s love of God?

If we are going to tell the world that we follow the Apostles’ teaching, I think it would be proper to actually know and adhere to their teaching, don’t you? But, how can we know with a certainty what they taught, when there is so little in the N.T. concerning what they actually said - to anyone? Or, is there? Actually, for those who have looked behind the curtain, you already have the answer, and you found it in exactly where you would expect to find it, right there in the N.T.

----------------------

Added note: An added note: The English hypocrisy in the Greek: the word is HupokrisiHs, meaning "The act of deceiving", or Hupokrites, which means the same as the above but also includes "pretender'
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Old 04-09-2013, 03:36 PM
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A.W. Bowman A.W. Bowman is offline
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Re: The Commands of Jesus

Part 9

A COMMONTAIRY

Over the past several weeks we have been looking at the ‘universal’ instructions Jesus gave His disciples. There are a bunch of them! I also included one or two instructions that He gave that were not universal, but specific to either particular to individuals or situations. These were included for additional study.

First, there is nothing in the New Covenant writings that was not first brought up under the Old Covenant writings. No, nothing new! Be it grace, circumcision of the heart, or baptisms, the identity of the “son of God”, etc. In the New Testament we have over seven hundred quotes from the Old. That alone should gives us all pause to stop and reflect on the importance of the Old Covent writings to our understanding of the New Covenant scriptures. Yet, there is more.

It is written that the Old Covent writings were given to us as a ‘school master’, to lead us to Jesus Christ, even to the O.T. hearers/readers. They were also identified as “types and shadows”, which would be fully expressed in the coming Messiah. Something to consider: In order to have a type of anything, or its shadow, there must first be an original somewhere. What and where was the original? Then there is the question of authorship of the scriptures. If the ‘living word of God’ was also the full deity of God manifested (expressed) in the flesh, frequently misidentified as the nonexistent Godhead (1), who was the source of the patriarchs and prophets inspiration, from where did they receive their instructions/revelations? Right, they received their instructions from the deity what indwelled the man, Jesus, the anointed one of God (the Messiah). Remember, Jesus had the Holy Spirit poured out upon Him without measure.

So, what does all of this Old Testament – New Testament stuff have to do with this series on the instructions (commandments) that Jesus gave to His disciples? These were not some holy sounding suggestions given by man, but rather instructions, teachings, and commandments given by God Himself! Therefore, what did every Apostle teach? Well, since there is no record either in the Bible or in secular history concerning any Apostle going astray (except Judas Iscariot of course), even when they were facing death for their teaching (faith expressed and shared), then we can safely assume that each and every one of them taught exactly what Jesus taught them, just as any good disciple (student, Talmid) of a teaching master (Rabbi) would have done. We have neglected the teachings of the Apostles by neglecting the teaching of Jesus. How do I know this? Simply because most of us, including me, do not know, understand, nor practice all His teachings or follow His commands (2). How can I be so sure? I have been in many churches representing almost every major Christian denomination that did not teach much of everything that Jesus taught! Actually, in some of those churches the minister even repudiated some of Jesus’ words!

What we are doing here is to bring back to light the neglected instructions that God gave to mankind so that we might live a life pleasing to God. Not to be hearers of the word only – but also to be doers of the word.

Going through this study I have been driven to my knees in repentance simply because I did not know all of these instructions that I am listing in this series. Among those that I did know, many I did not fully understand, and what I did understand I often failed to obey. Now, consider the consequences of the failure to know, understand, and obey God’s instructions (commandments). Consider also the judgment reserved for those who teach error (incomplete, misleading, or even outright false doctrine, or who omits some of God’s instructions for righteous living) to a congregation. What price shall we be called upon to pay for our failures?

Whatever happened to allowing members of the congregation to share and discuss what God has given them concerning Himself and His word? To take personal responsibility for their own salvation? Who ordained any of us to be “the final spiritual authority and resident expert and all things biblical when there may be others sitting in the pews who know more and/or better understand what God is teaching us? Whatever happened to “I don’t know”? My answer is, “I don’t know.”

So, where do we go from here?

Perhaps one place would be repentance, confessing our sin before God and our congregations. To hit the Book once again, leaving behind our religious indoctrinations, church dogma, personal doctrines and allowing God to open up the scriptures to our understanding. To test what we think we know and understand against both The Word and other Disciples of Christ.

Perhaps that is why I am more known for the questions that I ask, than I am for the answers of give. I freely admit that I am frightened for myself, as well as for the souls that I have mislead or acted more as a road block to their salvation, rather than pointing them past me and on to Jesus Christ. May God forgive me. Meanwhile, I try to drive, push, pull and encourage folks to get into the word for themselves, and not to take my words too seriously – unless and until they have been proven to be correct – even this commentary.

Shalom Aleichem,
Peace be Unto you
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