OUR PURPOSE & MISSION:- The Story Behind “BIBLE Students DAILY”

Dear Reader,

Upon receiving questions from both brethren and friends in Christ, here are some answers to the hows and whys behind the begins of this website—“BIBLE Students DAILY” which our Heavenly Father has allowed to be created and continue its ministering of God’s divine gems of Truth since March, 2016.

Gratitude and Thankfulness

Pastor Russell - C&CWe are thankful for the assistance of the Bible Student Elders in editing, correcting, and clarifying the content matter posted on BIBLE Students DAILY which has allowed this website to proceed forward.

We wish to specially acknowledge Br. David Rice’s help, who often assists and kindly responds when called upon.

We are also grateful for all the labours of love by our dearly beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, who share in our joys and efforts of striving to produce fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

“(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:22-23). (See also 2 Peter 1:5-8).

The content shared here, is thus a melting together of many kindred minds who continue to inspire the creation of each post—and though their names and efforts may be hidden to many—they tarry onward as faithful stewards of Christ yet their reward shall be great (Romans 2:6, Matthew 5:12, Matthew 16:27) and even the works of those who now rest—“their deeds do follow them” (Revelation 14:13).

Above all, we thank our Heavenly Father for continuing to offer new opportunities of service and fellowship, of learning and of sharing about His Divine Truth. BIBLE Students DAILY has brought the family together throughout the week to read and discuss each post and we hope this ministry work can likewise touch the lives of all people wherever God wishes it to reach—from the farmers in the Outback to the Indigenous populations of Australia as well as to all peoples far and near throughout the world, so that the Gospel can be preached to all (Mark 16:15).

“Every member of the anointed Body, the Church of Christ, is anointed to preach the Gospel (Isaiah 61:1-3).” — R2157

Our Purpose and Mission

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Jesus commissioned his disciples to go into all the world to preach the Gospel, but he did not encourage them to believe that this would result in the world’s conversion. The purpose of this worldwide witness work is explained in Acts 15:14 (ESV): “God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name.”

This “people for His name” are the “Sons of GOD” (Romans 8:14)—the Bride —comprising of 144,000 members (Revelation chapters 7 & 14) who are promised immortality at the first resurrection and shall reign with Christ for 1000 years bringing the world of mankind into harmony with God (2 Timothy 2:12, Revelation 20:6).

The High Calling to this position of sonship was opened up at the beginning of the Gospel Age, and to these were given the “power” (Margin: “right”, or “privilege”) to become the “Sons of God” (John 1: 11, 12). Since 33 A.D. Jesus’ power has been drawing out “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a peculiar people a peculiar people…” for his name.

The Heavenly Father has allotted a time period of 6,000 years for the permission of evil allowing mankind to experience the devastating and detrimental effects of sin—a consequence of original Adamic disobedience to God’s will. Currently, in 2016, we are in year 5,973 of the allotted time for evil to run its course. The 6,000 years will terminate at the beginning of the Messianic Age and the New Dispensation is soon to begin. In Acts 15:18 we read, Known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” May these words give us great confidence in the precious promises of God our Almighty Creator and courage in our own efforts to know and to do His will (Psalm 118:8, Philippians 3:3 & 4:13, Hebrews 13:6, 1 John 5:14-21).

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace,
that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:16

We hope the content shared here:

  • provides pain relief  (through “the peace of God that transcends all understand” received by God’s grace when meditating upon and studying the Word of God) to the suffering and pain-infested,
  • encourages the isolated and bereaving, and
  • inspires the Reader to be actively engaged in the Word—a tool in transforming one’s character into the likeness of Christ (Philippians 4:7, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4:23, Colossians 3:15).

May the posts be a launching pad to further personal study as well as being a means of accessing eat-on-the-go “spiritual meals” to those swamped with work and the demands of daily life. We desire to proclaim the Kingdom message of Good News about our Heavenly Father’s Divine Plan of SALVATION TO ALL mankind which shall be testified in due time (1 Corinthians 15:22, 1 Timothy 2:6) proclaiming about Christ’s Kingdom, as well as allow for a forum on which to share various Biblical subject matter for spiritual edification to bind the bonds of Christian unity between the brethren in Christ worldwide and be a means of comfort, strength and joy to all whom have a hearing ear (Ephesians 5:19-20, Colossians 3:16-17, Luke 14:23, Matthew 22:9).

Some closer to home reasons for this website include: creating posts that would not only serve as English lessons for those of the immediate family requiring it, but most importantly be a spiritual teaching tool—to deliver spiritual food about God and His Plan and HIS beauties of Truth to the youngest members at home; to spiritually edify home ecclesia members through print-outs of the posts; to spiritually edify all interested Truth Seekers worldwide who would appreciate reading content based on God’s Word; to encourage and strengthen the ties of brotherly love and unity in Christ amongst the brethren through the globe, according to our Heavenly Father’s will.

The Apostle Paul encourages each to use and share their specific talent(s) in the service of the Lord.

(4) For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, (5) so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. (6) We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; (7) if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; (8) if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully (Romans 12:4-8, NIV).

Sharing God’s Divine Plans and Truths

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Sharing about God’s Divine Plan can be compared to leading someone to

the most precious treasure in the universe!

And if another chooses to accept it and feast upon it and study it for themselves, then God’s drawing power can be compared to a mountain literally moving! (John 6:44)

The power of character change in a human touched by God’s calling power is beyond fathomable!

Jehovah-GOD is unfathomably awesome! (Romans 11:33)

There is no magic about it… as magic is not based on PURE TRUTH whom God and His Son, Jesus Christ both represent (Deuteronomy 18:9-12, Leviticus 20:6 & 27, Isaiah 8:19, 20 & Isaiah 44:24-25, Zechariah 10:2, 2 Kings 21:6, Jeremiah 27:9-10, Acts 8:9-11 & 13:6-8).

Developing a relationship with God and Jesus through prayer and study makes one the richest soul on earth, and each true Christian has the responsibility to shine their light of God’s Truth to all who have a listening ear; “as freely you have received so freely give”! (Matthew 10:8). Spiritually food must be shared and ingested daily or like the manna the Israelites in the wilderness ate for 40 years, if kept over to the next day—it will not nourish; it will not be consumable (Exodus chapter 16). Hence the name “BIBLE Students DAILY” is one we hope stimulates the thought of regular consistent daily meditation upon the Word of God as did the Bereans in the Book of Acts (Acts 17:11).

May we learn to speak the holy language of God confidently and with great joy and enthusiasm in any situation, anywhere, at any time, always and everlastingly!

“(26) For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. (27) But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; (28) God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, (29) so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. (30) And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, (31) so that, as it is written,

Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'”

(1 Corinthians 1:26-31)

And now the story …

With prayers, tears, patience… surrendering to loses of career, income, relationships, mobility and freedom from chronic pain and complications following a rare frozen hip (capsulitis) situation diagnosed after months of severe pain following a fall injury at the ecclesia hall, and the medical interventions that followed… after experiencing the incomprehensible… it was during the greatest failures of life, that God’s mercy and grace (undeserved kindness) opened up the most gloriously joyful opportunities in the Lord’s work—a permanent antidote for pain and mobility limitations, and a means by which to learn about and do the Father’s divine will, laying aside every weight and the sin which so easily entangle” keeping hope alive by saturating the mind with the exceedingly great and precious promises of God, and striving to keep the thoughts super-glued on Jesus by feasting on the Word of God (Hebrews 12:1-2; Hebrews 2:18).

The Phone Calls

It was the day after the last series of prolotherapy injections that followed some months after hip surgery that one’s bed became the office desk and numbers were dialed to various Website Designers in Melbourne and inquiries were made about help to start up a Christian website.

Through these phone conversations, Aussie locals were introduced to the Bible Students and a brief “tasting” of what the Bible teaches. (See post titled “BELIEFS”). Some heard about various topics wished to be discussed on the website such as how the purpose of the Gospel Age is to call out a Bride of 144,000 Elect members. Others were told about the nation of Israel and our desire to comfort our Jewish friends through sharing material about End Time prophetic fulfillment of both spiritual and natural Israel. The 1000 year Messianic Kingdom period of Christ was a topic not to be kept silent on either, highlighting the glorious blessings of joy that every single human will experience after Jacob’s Trouble and Armageddon where all shall learn righteousness who wish to have eternal life.

There is no doubt in one’s mind, this was the weirdest caller those receivers had ever encountered. But how can one miss an opportunity such as this of not sharing about grand and gloriously divine and perfect things which concern a PAIN-FREE future that will be for eternity to those who follow God’s only acceptable standard of righteousness in a world free of sin! How could one not share about the best, grandest, most rewarding, most joyful, satisfying and thirst-quenching for Truth activity that exists on this planet earth?! How could one remain silent about the SOURCE OF ETERNAL JOY—doing the will of our Heavenly Father through Christ who gives strength and satisfies one’s every longing and desire?! (Psalm 107:9, 1 John 2:17, Psalm 30:12, 37:4 & 46:1)

“Whom have I in heaven but thee?
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee” 

(Psalm 73:25).

After soon realizing that financially it would be impossible to even have the cheapest website designed by an expert in this field, continual prayers were offered up to the Heavenly Father in relation to this matter, and the next revelation of thought was … go buy a do-it-yourself CD website builder!

When road blocks here too were experienced,  another plan emerged—to try finding a TAFE or University student who had the “know how” to help set up the foundationals for a user-friendly website. And this is exactly what happened—positive and hopeful thoughts leading to a positive reality. Is this not what “thinking on things above” results in also?

(1) If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. (2) Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. (3) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Colossians 3:1-3).

Inspirations from the past

The voices of encouragement from other dear saints seemed to be echoing a song of joyful Godly approval of the desires within, to create posts that could touch hearts and spark interest in desiring to know God and enhance Godly reverence in such a time as this.

There had once been a dear Sister in Christ, Sr. Olive, who’s daily email devotionals were just so inspiring and uplifting (when residing in the USA and involved in the harvest work of the Gospel Age, at The DAWN) and one’s desire was to return the favour and show appreciation through running with the flame of God’s Word that lightens up any dark place and purifies the mind through its loveliness, truth, honourability, justice, purity, excellence, and praise worthiness—this IS what the Word of Truth does (Proverbs 4:22, Hebrews 4:12, James 1:18).

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him”  (Proverbs 30:5).

Delivering Godly Truth to humanity is a most grand privilege! It reminds one of what our Lord Jesus had talked about in Luke 14:23:

And the master said to the servant, ‘Go out to the highways and hedges and compel people to come in, that my house may be filled.'”

The Lord never compels the acceptance of his favors, but he does constrain—by his love and grace and promises—those who love righteousness and truth (2 Corinthians 5:11,14,15). Here is food to satisfy every longing, more and better than we could ask or think, a spiritual feast of future good things—joys and pleasures in the presence of the Lord (R343:1). To come to this feast involves a leaving of worldly hopes, aims and pursuits. In proportion as earthly things are abandoned, each may feast now (R343:1).

Earlier on in life, the inspiring words of Romans 15:16 had remained engraved on the heart and mind after receiving this text from a dear isolated Sister In Christ—Sr. Elsie Hurd—who was visited when on a pilgrim trip with some dearly Beloved brethren, Br. Ray and Sr. Carmela Luke. This was another driving motivator to establishing BIBLE Students DAILY.

Romans 15:16 reads,to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. He gave me the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.”

The Effects of Godliness

What else does God’s Word of Truth do?

It provides eternal prosperity (Isaiah 40:8, Matthew 6:19-20, 24:35)…

It gives hope (Romans 5:2-7, 2 Peter 1:4) and it provides a future (Jeremiah 29:11, 1 Peter 2:9, Revelation 5:10)…

The Divinely inspired words of God in the Bible:

  • give life and give meaning to life (John 6:63);
  • are a lamp for one’s feet; a light on one’s path (Psalm 119:105);
  • useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work (2 Timothy 3:16-17);
  • give freedom (Romans 8:2, James 1:25)… freedom from condemnation of sin by believing in the blood of Christ which can provide justification—where Jesus is no longer one’s mediator between God and man, but one’s personal Lawyer—one’s advocate, and prayers can be directed straight to Jehovah-God himself.

Freedom comes when one petitions to God for HIS help and one studies to develop true Faith rather than a blind faith (which lacks substance of understanding); it comes through patiently persisting in the “testing of all things” (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

God Finds the Help. God Makes Things Work Out Well.

“(6) So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth. (8) … and each will receive his wages according to his labor” (1 Corinthians 3:6, 8).

A call was made to RMIT—a TAFE College in Melbourne’s CBD and within two to three weeks from the posting of an advertisement, a student with computer website and graphic design skills called up offering her services. At this stage of the journey, it felt like one had entered into Solomon’s Temple and could see as if, a staircase—a sense of hope that God had accepted the desires of the heart and was allowing for this work and its new avenues of witnessing opportunities to proceed. Any closures along this journey seem to be greeted by nearly immediate openings somewhere else. So our journey did continue …

The female student helped to set up the exact foundationals required to then continue building the website. Since then, ongoing adjustments continue to be made with the assistance of the online WordPress resources.

Minister Unto All

Today the world’s needs are great. Fear fills the hearts of the people and the nations are in distress. The Day of God’s Vengeance is approaching after which time the blind eyes will be opened, the deaf ears unstopped, and when the lame shall “leap as an hart” (Isaiah 35:6).

The followers of Jesus have today the same privilege as did our brethren in the early Church, which is to proclaim unpopular truth and be looked upon as ‘out of step’ with the world and the evil worldly church systems.

The “WAY” of the present Gospel Age is a narrow way,” and few there be that find it (Matthew 7: 14). But oh! How rich and full are the compensating joys of the narrow way which leads into the Heavenly Kingdom, among them being the great privilege of telling the world of the Earthly Kingdom blessings soon to come, when a “highway” will be opened upon which the world of mankind may return to Jehovah-God, and to health and life everlasting (Isaiah 35:5-10).

To the Proclamation of this Message, a small group of people, throughout the world, is dedicated to shout out:

“the due time for the world’s RESTITUTION is almost here!”

We rejoice to know that the earthly Kingdom Gospel is even now, bringing joy to many, enabling them to pray with understanding, “Thy Kingdom Come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10). And for those of us who seek to be of the Bride of Christ, such also rejoice in the fact that the heavenly Kingdom is almost completed.

We hope that this forum can continue to be a Bible Study Classroom that our readers find helpful, and ask for your prayers in the work we wish to continue to all do, to make our Heavenly Father well pleased, bring JOY to the Heavenly Father and His Son— our Beloved Head and Captain of our Salvation—Christ Jesus.

Most of the content found in each of the shared posts, comes from others. Therefore if the words read are well received, the credit for their good belongs to others. If you detect flaws in the content shared, please let us know.

May the Heavenly Father through Christ be praised, honored and glorified for any light we may see on the heavenly things shared on this website.

Finally dear friends, we wish to encourage you with the words of the Apostle Paul from 2 Timothy 4:2-5:-

(2) Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. (3) For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, (4) and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. (5) As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

In the “one hope our our calling” (Ephesians 4:4), your servants and fellow co-labourers in Christ Jesus,

The Olszewski Brethren and family – Melbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA.

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“As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness” (Psalm 17:15).

URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/27/our-purpose-mission-the-story-behind-bible-students-daily/

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He Restoreth My Soul

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I am often so weary of sorrow,
So weary of struggling with sin,
So timid concerning the morrow,
So faithless of entering in.

To the beautiful rest that remaineth
Secure in the City of God,
Where shall enter no evil that staineth,
Nor ever the spoiler hath trod.

But aye, when the struggle is sorest,
And dark the clouds grow o’er my soul,
Dear Lord, the sweet cup that Thou pourest
Hath blam, and I drink and am whole.

From the quenchless old well of salvation
I quaff the pure waters divine,
And a sense of triumphant elation
Is thrilled through this spirit of mine.

No hand but Thine own, blessed Master,
Could comfort and cheer in the day
When the touch of a sudden disaster
Hath cumbered and tangled the way.

No look but Thine own could illumine
When night gathers black o’er the land,
And strength that is failing and human
Lieth prone on the desolate strand.

But ever Thy help is the nearest
When help from the earth there is none,
And ever the word that is dearest
Is the word of the Crucified Son;

And aye, when the tempest-clouds gather,
I fly for sweet shelter and peace
Through the Son to the heart of the Father,
Then terror and tremor do cease.

He restoreth my soul, and I praise Him
Whose love is my chrism and crown;
He restoreth my soul; let me raise Him
A song that His favor will own;

For often so weary of sorrow,
So weary of fighting with sin,
I look and I long for the morrow
When the ransom’d their freedom shall win.

Psalm23

Here is a beautiful song titled “Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd”


“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Philippians 4:6).

“Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually” (Psalm 105:4).

 

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ISAIAH 61:1 – The Opening of the Prison

ISAIAH 61, 1

Dear friends,

We are not writing this post in our own wisdom, nor in the wisdom of man, but rather we trust in that pure wisdom of which our Heavenly Father, YAHWEH, alone, is the author.

For as the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 1:18,

“The preaching of the cross is unto them that are perishing, foolishness; but unto us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 

I am sure that each one of us would be willing to be counted amongst the foolish if the preaching of the cross be foolishness.

Our Lord tells us through the prophet that the wisdom of man shall not stand.

“The wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the understanding of their prudent men shall fail, because they have rejected the word of the Lord, and what wisdom is in then?” (Isaiah 29:14)

We invite your attention more particularly to the words of the Lord as recorded in Isaiah 61:1,

“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the glad tidings to 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.”

Are these words literal?

The words “the opening of the prison to them that are bound suggest to our minds at least 4 main thoughts:-

(1) A prison – a place or condition of bondage or confinement.

(2) Prisoners – those in such a condition of bondage or confinement.

(3) A prison keeper, or warden, or captor, one who has the immediate or present control of the prison house.

(4) A great deliverer who is here described as proclaiming liberty to the captives and opening the prison to them that are bound.

PRISON

We understand this to refer to the great prison house of death.

In Ezekiel 16:53 we read – “When I will bring again their captivity, the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters. Then will I bring again the captivity of thy captives in the midst of them.”

We know that the captivity referred to in this case is the great captivity of death, for Sodom had long lain in ashes when these words were spoken and it could not therefore refer to any local captivity.

In John 5:28-29 we read, “All that are in their graves shall hear his voice and shall come forth.” This too here, cannot refer to a literal release from prison at the first advent because John the Baptist was not released. Jesus did not deliver death’s prisoners at the first advent.

The death state is a condition properly pictured by a prison, which of course represents bondage or restraint of our life, rights and privileges. Our Heavenly Father Himself tells us that the death sentence meant a returning unto the dust – a going into oblivion. (Genesis 3:19.)

In Ecclesiastes 9:5, 6, 10 we read, the “dead know not anything” that “their love also, and their hatred and their envy is perished,” that “there is neither work nor device, nor knowledge nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.”

The Psalmist says that “He returneth to his earth: in that very day his thoughts perish.” (Psalm 146:4.)

PRISONERS

Seeing what the prison is we can certainly appreciate who the prisoners are – the whole human family – “All in Adam die.” “Death has passed on all.”

PRISON KEEPER

Satan has opposed the best interests of the human family from Adam’s fall. Our Lord Jesus, calls him “the Prince of this World” (John 14:30), while the Apostle Paul similarly calls him “the God of this World.” (2 Colossians 4:4)

In Matthew 12:29, our Lord Jesus again refers to him in a little parable saying, “How can one enter into a strong man’s house and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.”

The cause of Satan’s opposing attitude is declared to be PRIDE and the desire to be EQUAL TO or ABOVE GOD YAHWEH,  as we read in these next scriptures where the Prophet Isaiah in chapter 14 and verses 13 to 17:-

“For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High (YAHWEH). Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee and consider thee, saying, ‘is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake the kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness, and destroyed the cities thereof; that opened not the house of his prisoners?’ ”

Satan has not liberated any of his prisoners because he has not the power over death. That work is appointed to the Great Deliverer: our beloved King, Jesus Christ.

At the first of Jesus’ ministry, we read of Him, in Luke 14:

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. 17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written,

18 ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, 19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’

20 And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. 21 And he began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.’

22 And all spoke well of him and marvelled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth.”

Then and there began in a public way, the carrying out of this glorious prophecy. The fulfillment of it all was invested in our Lord Jesus.

A question may arise in our minds from Isaiah 49: 24 – “Shall the prey (the human family) be taken from the mighty (Satan & his ‘army’) or the lawful captive be set free?”

How can the human family (“lawful captives”) ever be set free? That is, how can GOD continue to be just and ever be the justifier of anybody?

On examination we find that the sentence of death upon Adam was thoroughly lawful and just and right because Adam had the ability to resist the temptation and was forewarned and was not deceived.

Some may say…

O.K… I see easily enough how Adam got into prison and how that it was right with him, but I don’t understand then why was the WHOLE HUMAN FAMILY affected by ONE man’s fall and disobedience?

Well, the answer to this is a simple one but oh, so very painful in the results/consequences which we ALL now have experienced for nearly 6000 years in the ‘Permission of Evil’ period of time, thus far!

If Adam was placed in prison and had no posterity at the time of his imprisonment and if he ever had any children, since he has never been liberated, it necessarily follows that they must have been born in prison. That is why Apostle Paul in Romans 5:12, 18, 19 says,

“12 By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.”

“18 By the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation.”

19“By one man’s disobedience many were made sinners.”

So we see that the prey” cannot liberate themselves from the mighty power of death for they are ALL in prison, and who can release himself and let the others out?

“None can by any means redeem his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him.” (Psalm 49:7.)

But
WHEN MAN CAN DO NOTHING,
that is when
GOD YAHWEH
CAN DO SOMETHING!!!

When all seems LOST…. Then GOD HAS the ability to change it all from IMPOSSIBLE to POSSIBLE!!!

Our Heavenly Father brought salvation to the sighing and groaning prisoners and our Father’s  determination to carry out this feature of HIS plan is expressed by the Prophet Hosea:

I will ransom them from the power of the grave: I will redeem them from death: 0, death, I will be thy plagues: O, grave. I will be thy destruction, repentance shall be hid from my eyes.” (Hosea 13:14)

In pursuance of this intention GOD sent forth His own Son into the world to die and redeem many.

The opening of the prison house refers to the RESURRECTION OF EVERY SINGLE HUMAN from the grave. The first to have resurrected in the 1st Resurrection is our Lord Jesus, and we read in 1 Corinthians 15: 20-22,

“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam ALL die, so also in Christ shall ALL be made alive.”

Jesus says, “I have the keys of death.” (Rev. 1:18)

Christ is to deliver ALL death’s prisoners. He did not do so at his first advent, but will in due time set at liberty all the captives, opening the prison doors of hades (the tomb). They will all come forth to trial—not on Adam’s sin, nor on account of things done while under the Adamic penalty, but to a new trial for life on their own responsibility during the PERFECT earthly conditions given on earth during the (near approaching) Kingdom of GOD, where Jesus with his 144,000 Elect ‘Bride’ members shall reign with him for 1000 years when all shall learn to choose RIGHTEOUSNESS to gain life eternal.

Those who choose to persist in ungodliness, shall be destroyed with ‘second death’ yet if “God’s love is better than life” (Psalm 63:3) then it will seem unlikely to most to choose to not obey the only GODly standard that GOD accepts, which is RIGHTEOUSNESS IN ALL THINGS.

“We see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honor (in order) that he might taste death for EVERY man.” (Heb. 2:9)

If Lord has already done this then WHY has not the prison been opened wide and everyone delivered from the bondage of death?

Ah! Well, we learn that the prisoners are not going to be liberated without order, but that the Divine arrangement is to liberate those during the Gospel Age who desire to have freedom, who are “weary and heavy laden” (Matthew 11:28), and that these shall be taught of YAHWEH’s plans and purposes IN ADVANCE by a normal training, as it were, and prepared to act as teachers for the balance of mankind.

So the Gospel and Good News message of the Kingdom is in two parts: Of restitution, resurrection, as well as the great prize of the high calling.

“Unlike John the Baptist,
it is not the duty of the Lord’s people to go through the world rebuking sin,
but preaching the Gospel
(Reprints of the Original Watchtower, R.3326:2)

Psalm 25:9 says that GOD will guide in justice the MEEK, and the MEEK HE will teach His way. These, who seek to do GOD’s will, in order to do what is RIGHT by Divine Standards, are meek enough to receive instruction from God’s Divine Word – then meditate upon it – and pray. GOD sees that such persons are not satisfied with the things of this world. He guides their understanding.

Jesus’ teachings are only for the meek. They are “Lovers of righteousness.”

The truths of the new dispensation belong to the Christian first – they will be for the world later. The proud, arrogant, hard-hearted, profane, rebellious, or indifferent will not hear them. Therefore, if the person you speak with is not meek, it is timely to draw away. Do not antagonize him or her, or debate (Expanded Biblical Comments).

We are authorized to do the work of a good physician, to bind up the broken hearted!

Dear friends, if we have consecrated our lives, and FULLY ENROLLED IN THE SCHOOL OF OUR MASTER AND KING, our Beloved Jesus Christ, then we are NOW to study and practice wherever the opportunity permits, how to be HEALERS of OTHERS EMOTIONS.

Will we do this perfectly? Of course not! We are in imperfect bodies. But we should be, as the High Priests who wore the robe with the pomegranates alternating with bells around the rim of their robes. Pomegranates are known to have so many healing properties, from rejuvenating the skin to healing disease.

Those who have taken the vow of following Jesus, the Greatest Human healer that ever lived, must know how to be a patient first and then learn from the text book given by our Heavenly Father. We must also have practical lessons now, applying the theory, for thorough learning, in order to be prepared to bless the world.

This glorious happy day of Great Rejoicing that the world has not seen, IS COMING!

May this HOPE we have in the Precious Promises, makes us REJOICE as if it, this glad morn of the Messianic Age, were already here!

The broken hearts we find around us today, or may have caused in others in our ignorance at the time, need to be touched with the application of the healing balm of grace and truth. Let our touches be gentle ones.

If more breaking of the heart is necessary it is not for us to do. (R4131:2)

The message of the Lord’s lips at the present time are not arrows (Psalm 45:5), nor the sword – but an invitation to rest (Matthew 11:28-30).

Our mission is not to break hearts,
but to heal broken ones
delivering a message of DIVINE MERCY;
that the Kingdom will bring order, peace and joy. (R5449:1)

Sin breaks the hearts of thousands – through man’s disappointment in himself, his own ambitions, efforts, friends, business and pleasure. The Church’s special work in blessing and comforting the world will be in the Kingdom (R5537:1).

When this great work shall have been accomplished in us, ONLY THEN, shall the prison gates be opened for the world. They shall be brought forth “to their former estate” “unto the judgment resurrection,” to walk upon the highway of holiness (Isaiah 35) if they are appreciative of GOD YAHWEH’s grace bestowed upon them. Then he that leadeth into captivity (Satan) shall have gone into captivity and the blessed and holy influence of the glorified Christ shall be exercised to healing all the disease and blindness incurred by the long captivity.

There’s a wideness in GOD’s mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There’s a kindness in His justice,
Though severe His judgments be.
For the love of GOD is broader
Than the measure of man’s mind,
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.

Acknowledgments: The content for this post was inspired from a 1909 Bible Student Convention Report- Synopsis of a Discourse by Pilgrim Brother F. H. Robison.

References: Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence; The Expanded Biblical Comments.   http://www.htdb8.com

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Jesus’ Commission: Make Disciples. Baptize. Teach.

Mat. 28, 20 -2

Let’s begin with the words of Matthew 28:19‑20 (KJV)

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.”

WHAT IS OUR WORK? 

We are definitely not travelling alone in this narrow way since GOD called out a faithful band of servants who, with every talent consecrated to His work, are steadily pursuing their course in the narrow way. We know some of them by name and by character and by their steady and progressive activity in the blessed work. And though not all of these have a copious amount of talents, they, nevertheless, quietly and unobtrusively go about from day to day preaching the wonderful words of life, and GOD is with them and is leading them on. Their hearts are full of joy and hope and they are kept securely amidst all the perils of this evil day. No amount of discouragement from the adversary, stops these that still remain amongst our midst, from continuing on with FULL ZEAL in the LORD’s work.

The ones who have the greatest appreciation of Truth,
are those who are FULLY enlisted in the LORD’s service.

If we bury our one or our many talents under a weight of worldly cares and encumbrances which might be avoided or set aside; if we bury them under worldly ambitions for either self or family — whether this be by wasting consecrated time upon science, philosophy, music or art; or upon business, politics or pleasures; or in pampering pride and appetite – then as unfaithful servants we will sooner or later go into outer darkness, by being caught in some of the snares of this “evil day.” and will be led farther and farther into error and away from truth. (R.1282)

In no single case have we seen one drift away from the Truth in these last years of the Gospel Age among those who were very active and FULLY enlisted in the LORD’s work, whose one aim and endeavor was to herald the truth and to bless others with it. (R.1282)

“To such the LORD says, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee’ – Ye shall never fail, for so an abundant entrance shall be ministered unto you into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ .” (R.3696).

Each royal priest is the peer of each other one in authority and dignity of priesthood; though in talents, intelligence, etc., and therefore in fitness, they are not all equals. (R.1137:4)

Some stewards do not quickly enough note talents which might be utilized in the Lord’s service. (R.1047:5)

Jesus’ words of Matthew 28:19‑20 to the apostles, apply to all fully consecrated disciples of Christ – who are authorized to preach the Gospel in any and every way, publicly or privately, by word, pen, or printed page.

THE THREE PARTS OF JESUS’ COMMISSION

PART 1 – MAKE DISCIPLES of all nations

The word “disciple” signifies pupil, in the school of Christ, in the primary department. We are to first inform those who have ears to hear that they are sinners through the fall, but that GOD has made a provision for their rescue.

“We have a commission to proclaim the Gospel according to our opportunities and abilities.”(R5588:1)

The work of the Evangelist comes first, to make disciples. So let us continue to preach as the twelve disciples preached, by the wayside” (Matthew 13:4) or wherever you find a hearing ear (Mark 4:9).

Pastor Charles Russell encourages and suggests, the following:

“If you lack talent for preparing a discourse,
READ FORCIBLY AND CLEARLY
something touching the subject
you consider most needful to your hearers.” (R. 1047:5)

“This Gospel shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations.” (Matthew 24:14)

Since Christ died on Calvary as our Passover Lamb, the message of redemption has gone out to all who are willing to be disciples of Christ – no longer restricted to the Jewish people. The early disciples became witnesses to the Truth, and we should follow that example.

“Ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

PART 2 – BAPTIZE them

Immersion is the correct translation and the original method of baptism, as acknowledged by many authorities. Water immersion is the outward symbol by which believers confess their faith in Jesus as their Redeemer. When a Christian devotes his or her life to GOD, one is “immersed” into the will of GOD, and thus into the service of Christ whom GOD appointed as our Lord and Master.

In Romans 6:3-11, Apostle Paul adds another dimension to our immersion into Christ – namely, immersion INTO the sacrificial DEATH OF CHRIST:

“Know ye not that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?”

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. 5 For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:

6 Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin. 7 For he that is dead is freed from sin.

8 Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him: 9 Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.

10 For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. 11 Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

WHO CAN PERFORM THE IMMERSION SERVICE?

“All authorized to teach are equally authorized to baptize. That includes every follower of Christ, not excluding females, only that modesty indicates that they should avoid such public services except in rare necessary cases” (R1541:4).

“All baptized would be commissioned to perform this symbol for others; and, if no consecrated could be found, an unconsecrated believer, or even a worldly person or unbeliever, might do it.” (Volume 6, “Studies in the Scriptures,” page 454).

The following words are recommended by Pastor Charles Russell for any immersion service:

“Brother … in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, by this authority, I baptize thee into Christ” (Volume 6, “Studies in the Scriptures,” page 455).

There is the thought amongst some Bible Students that the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19 may have been altered during the third century to support the development of the false doctrine of the trinity. This is well explained in a study titled “In the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit” by Lenard Griehs (“Beauties of the Truth”, January, 1991). The evidence for this seems good.

However, if one favors the text as it appears in the common version, following are some comments that are helpful.

“Into the name of” – signifies into accord with, into fellowship with (R5587).

By the words “The Father” ‑ the meaning is that “all of Christ’s disciples are to recognize the Father’s name as standing for righteousness; and they are to become dead to every other principle than that which His name represents, and to be thoroughly immersed into that name of righteousness, justice, truth.” (R.5587 )

“These words do not imply three baptisms in one. The use of the three names is as if you were using a firm name, such as Smith, Jones and Brown; all three names would be used to show that it has the authorization of the whole firm. The Divine Three ‑ Father, Son and holy Spirit ‑ are related to our faith in the Creator, Redeemer and Regenerator; and this suggests the three steps in bringing men into the divine image.” (R.197:3)

The words “Of the Son ‑ shows that we ignore all sectarian names, Protestant or Catholic, but rather, recognize the name of Jesus, Yeshua, the Messiah, and desiring to be his members, his Bride and his Body, “the Church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven” (Hebrews 12:23, NIV).

The term “holy Spirit refers to GOD’s spirit, influence and character in our lives. The word in the Greek is “pneuma”, which means spirit (not “ghost” as in the King James version). The use of these words in Matthew 28:19 has been understood to signify that the immersed candidate’s own spirit or will becomes dead, and GOD’s holy will and mind are to become their will and purpose.

PART 3 ‑ TEACH them

The word “teach” in verse 19, is from a Greek word “matheteuo” and signifies proselyting or making disciples of.

It is not a command to convert the world but to gather out of all nations those willing to be disciples of Christ.

In verse 20, the words “teaching them” means instructing them regarding GOD’s divine character and plan, the graces of the spirit and the rooting out of the spirit of worldliness and selfishness. Not astronomy, geology, nor any of the vain philosophies about which the world speculates, but “the things which I have commanded you.” (R5045:4, 3200:2).

In Jesus’ words “observe all that I command you” we are reminded that all men are sinners, that Christ came to give himself a ransom, that he is the only way to life, that whosoever would come must take up his cross, that all believers are one with him, that every branch in him must bear fruit or be taken away, that those who trust in him are to hope for and expect his second coming, that we have a hope to be of those of the first resurrection, and that love is the fulfilling of the Law.

Jesus reassures, encourages, and strengthens us through his words to the Apostles, “I am with you always,” and we see this by the gift from GOD of the holy Spirit of GOD to guide and lead us through the age. By this, means Jesus is present with us in spirit. As our high priest, he sees to our spiritual interests. Jesus has been with his representatives in all their labors of love and self‑denial throughout the entire age so we are NEVER alone! We have the companionship of him who promised, “I will never leave thee nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).

In our Lord’s words, “even unto the end of the age,” the word “end” is from the Greek word suntelia, which means the ending period of the age. Now, in the present “Harvest,” or ending period of the Gospel Age, beginning with 1874 as pointed to in Daniel 12:12, Jesus is actively engaged on behalf of his saints to complete the Church, and inaugurate a period of transition into his Millennial Kingdom.

Jesus’ work for his people includes raising his sleeping saints in the first resurrection! Once the last member of the 144,000 shall have gone through the 2nd vail into the Divine Realm, then Jesus with His Bride, the Elect, shall establish his Kingdom, bless the nation of Israel with the New Covenant, and thus bless all mankind.

We are now not only in the Harvest, the ending period of the age, but even in the closing years of the harvest period itself. We have some years to go. Some brethren point to Acts chapter 27, and Paul’s voyage to Rome, as indicating the travel of the Church through the Harvest to the Kingdom, the center of world authority.

In this case, it is feasible that the 14 days of storm which precede the “Armageddon” crash of the ship of state, could suggest 14 years of distress closing the harvest.

In this case, those who consider that the blessed Millennium might commence another 27 years hence, find a milestone along the way, by which to check their expectations.

Meanwhile, let us not neglect our opportunities
to represent the Truth to all who may have a hearing ear.

We seek the last grains of wheat for the heavenly barn – so that thereafter the blessings of life can flow to the world. Then, through the elect, raised to heavenly glory, the inhabitants of the world shall all come to a saving knowledge of Christ, and secure wonderful, everlasting, earthly blessings.

“Let us remember, too, while using all the WISDOM we can in this service, that the Lord’s object in giving us a share in his work is not so much what we can accomplish as in the blessing that the labor will bring upon us. This will be an encouraging thought to the dear ones who are engaged in the “Volunteer” work; and if they find many discouragements and but small results the reflection that the Master knoweth them that are His, and that He appreciates every sincere effort made to serve His cause and to lay down our lives on behalf of the brethren, will give courage and strength to those who otherwise might faint by the way” (R. 2811).

“Let us see to it, not only that we do with our might what our hands find to do, but also that our every sacrifice and gift to the Lord and His cause is so full of love and devotion that the Lord will surely approve it; as done from love for Him and His, and not from vainglory” (R3166).

 

Acknowledgments:

Charles T.  Russell – “R” represents the “Reprints of the Original Watchtower and Herald of Christ’s Presence.” The numbers next to the “R” represent the page numbers of the reprinted articles.

Leonard Griehs’ – for his study from “Beauties of the Truth” – as referenced in the above post.
http://www.beautiesofthetruth.org/Archive/Library/Doctrine/Mags/Bot/90s/BOTJAN91.PDF

 

URL: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/15/jesus-commission-make-disciples-baptize-teach/

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A Little While

JAMES 5, 7-8.jpg

How long, O Lord, till I am meet
To hold with Thee communion sweet?
How long until Thine eyes shall see
The Spirit’s fruits complete in me?

When shall I come to Thee, my Lord,
As promised in Thy blessed Word?
When shall I see Thee as Thou art,
And satisfy my longing heart?

Ah, then, how mean will seem these toys,
These transitory, earthly joys!
How short appear this dreary way,
When night hath turned to endless day!

Then, peace, my soul, be strong, my heart,
And bravely strive to do thy part;
“A little while,” He soon shall come,
And say, “Enough, my child, come home!”

 Gertrude W. Seibert (1914)

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/10/a-little-while/

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Just a Word

1 PET. 5, 7 - C&C

Just a word of cheer, brothers and sisters, as you onward press,
Weary, but undaunted, through this wilderness.
Just a word of comfort as the way seems long,
and the sullen shadows around about you throng.

Just a word of hope, brothers and sisters, when your feet are sore,
and the road seems ever rougher than before;
Faint not, for our King Jesus trod the self-same way,
and you know it leads you to the realms of day.

Just a word of caution when before your sight
stands the subtle tempter in a garb of light.
Hold no parley with him, now give way to fear;
at the name of Jesus he will disappear.

Just a word to tell you, brothers and sisters, not to dread
what the world in anger pours upon your head,
and should persecutions come your cup to fill,
then be like the Master – suffer and be still.

Just a note of joy, brothers and sisters as you near the goal,
and the sounds of Jordan beat upon your soul.
He who all your journey proved a faithful guide –
He will see you safely to the other side.

from ‘Poems of the Way’ – Compiled by Bro. Martin C. Mitchell

https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/06/just-a-word/

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2 PETER 1:5-11 – Is Mere FAITH IN GOD Enough?

2 Peter 1, 5-11 - C&C.jpg

The following post is an extract from “Epistles of Peter” by Bro. Frank Shallieu.

2 PETER 1:5: “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge.”

“Add to your faith virtue.”

The next step in the Apostle Peter’s evaluation is virtue.

The Apostle Paul breaks down the various fruits leading up to love, but Peter is talking from the standpoint of making one’s calling and election sure and his listing gives a sequential development. The Apostle Peter, the fisherman, is now a mature Christian feeding the lambs as well as the sheep. Having been qualified with a wealth of experience, he knows that death is imminent. Likewise, Paul realized the end of his life was approaching when he said, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day” (2 Timothy 4:8).
We are not reading a textbook but a very valuable, sobering account by one who speaks from experience as well as under the guidance of the holy Spirit.

Comment: Instead of the King James wording “And beside this,” the New International
Version has “For this very reason.” The NIV makes clearer the tie-in with the “exceeding
great and precious promises” of the preceding verse. In other words, “Because of the great and precious promises–for this very reason–you need to add to your faith virtue, etc.”

“Giving all diligence” is an important phrase, and it applies to all of the steps.
Give all diligence to add to your faith virtue.
Give all diligence to add to your virtue knowledge.
Give all diligence to add to your knowledge temperance, and so forth.

The great majority of Christians are immature seed.

In the parable, seed that falls in good ground and develops to maturity brings forth “some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty” (Matthew 13:23). In other words, full capacity is reached according to the content of the individual vessel. Some have
a 30 percent vessel, some have a 60 percent vessel, and the ten-talented person has a 100
percent vessel—and hence more responsibility. All three categories picture the Little Flock, children of the Kingdom in the real sense of the word.

Virtue means fortitude, strength of character.
Question: Doesn’t “virtue” also convey a morality aspect?

Answer: Yes, the breastplate of righteousness is part of virtue. From the simple rudiments of faith
and the milk of the Word, one now starts to get food that is a little stronger, and the body
grows proportionately stronger as well. The child grows, spiritually speaking, with moral
development and strength of character based on an outgrowth of faith.

Following initial faith, virtue is the first development of one who believes into Christ and starts to grow.

Many, thinking that knowledge follows faith, try to bypass virtue and want to teach and
write books when they are still babes. In the enthusiasm of our early days, we tend to be
overconfident. Those who talk that way are not mature Christians, and they betray
themselves by their immaturity of conduct, immaturity of reasoning, and immaturity in an assumed familiarity with Scripture. Thus the flesh tends to jump over virtue and go
straight to knowledge. However, Peter shows our need to go step by step by step.

Faith is the substratum of an entire Christian’s life. The just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17).
Faith in Jesus is the bottom line–faith that he is the Redeemer. We are to add to that faith, in successive order, the seven steps that Peter enumerates.

“Add … to virtue knowledge.” “Knowledge” is a broad term, for there are all kinds of knowledge.

2 PETER 1:6: “And to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness.”

Peter continues to enumerate the various steps in the progression to maturity.

At the Last Supper, Jesus remarked to Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren” (Luke 22:32).

After Jesus’ resurrection he gently rebuked Peter three times for the three denials. At that time Jesus said to Peter, “Feed my lambs.” The second time the Master said, “Feed my sheep.” And the third time was “Feed my sheep,” after which Peter said, “Thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:15–17). Notice the progression: (1) “feed my lambs,” and then (2) “feed my sheep” and (3) “feed my sheep.” In other words, Peter was not in the position to feed mature adults at the time of our Lord’s ascension or even after Pentecost. At Pentecost, Peter possessed the first two qualities: faith and virtue. Peter had faith: “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Also, he and John spoke very boldly on the Day of Pentecost.

“Virtue” means strength, courage, fortitude.

Now when we study Peter’s epistles, we see a very different Peter from the impulsive one in the Gospels.

Peter tells us to add to or supplement our faith with virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity. In other words, Peter adds seven different qualities to the basic substratum of faith.
Let us consider “knowledge.”

Remember, Peter is speaking about character development. Regardless of the subsequent lack or fullness of development, we all start our Christian walk as babes with faith in Jesus. In his first epistle, Peter said that “as newborn babes, [we should] desire the sincere milk of the word, … [so that we] may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:2). As the babe feeds on milk, his bones grow and he gets a little stronger so that, spiritually speaking, he can withstand opposition and persecution. This would be adding virtue to our faith.

To add knowledge, the babe needs milk for growth. “Milk” includes the knowledge of
God’s Word, for how can we instruct others if we have not been instructed ourselves?

To knowledge, we are to add temperance or self-control.

The growth of Peter in the area of self-control is amazing! He underwent a remarkable change from his earlier impulsiveness.

Jesus said to Peter, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not [to death in crucifixion]” (John 21:18). Jesus was referring to the manner in which Peter would die. When Jesus asked, “Who do men say that I am?” impulsive Peter responded, “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:13–16).

Peter was a natural leader, but he needed to be instructed himself. The very fact Peter was naked in the boat after Jesus’ resurrection gives us an insight into his character. He did not want any restraints. He impulsively girt himself with his coat and jumped into the water to swim to Jesus, who was frying fish on the shore.

This same man, but a mature and developed Peter at the end of his life, said, “Add to your knowledge self-control and self-restraint.”

This self-restraint must come after knowledge.

Both of Peter’s epistles were written in the last years of his life, just before his death. How valuable is the instruction of Peter in his maturity!

When Paul discusses the various graces of the holy Spirit, he does not necessarily
enumerate them in succession. For instance, in describing love, he does not follow any
particular sequence, but Peter says, “Add to your faith virtue. Add to your virtue knowledge. Add to your knowledge temperance.” Thus Peter gives a sequence and Paul does not. The point is that the instruction of the two apostles does not conflict. Paul gives more detail but lists the graces of the holy Spirit in random fashion. (An exception would be Paul’s discussion of faith, hope, and love, which are in succession.)

Comment: It was Peter who lopped off the ear of Malchus in the Garden of Gethsemane at the arrest of Jesus. This act is another example of his impetuosity and impulsiveness.

Comment: In a practical sense, temperance could be along both material and spiritual lines. We need to have self-control over our life-style and how we expend our resources. Along spiritual lines, temperance would affect how we witness and preach the gospel. For example, as a general rule we would not deliberately make a spectacle of ourselves.

Comment: A comment in the Berean Manual says, “Moderation, self-restraint in all things–we are not to be hasty and hot-tempered, or rash and thoughtless, but evenly balanced, thoughtful and considerate.” We get this moderation through the knowledge of God’s Word.

Reply: Yes, “he that ruleth his spirit [is better] than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32).

“Let your moderation be known unto all men” (Philippians 4:5).

We should be temperate in language, money-getting, money saving, eating, drinking, joy, sorrow, at work, in the store, home, church, and schoolroom–everywhere.

Comment: On the other side of the coin, there is a danger in becoming too temperate and thus not having enough zeal for the truth, the Lord, and His service.

Reply: If we have too much self-control, we will be mute when we should speak. The other extreme is being so out of hand and rambunctious that we destroy whatever good we might do. The proper amount of self-control makes us much more effective.

Add “to temperance patience.” What is this “patience”?

The Greek word is hupomone, which means “endurance.” Hupomone conveys the thought of bearing under a burden, of enduring it and not chafing, of remaining under the burden and not giving up. The same word is used in Hebrews 12:1, “Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us.” Of course a lot depends on the makeup of the individual, for we are all different. Some brethren under trial may react without a lot of apparent cheerful endurance and yet be faithful. The circumstances must be considered. Those who run a marathon race are not very cheerful when they near the end of the race, for they are pressing on to the utmost. Those who win have an extremely strong
desire to excel and be a champion.

Comment: James 5:11, in referring to Job, uses this same Greek word for “patience.”
“Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and
have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.”

We are all familiar with Job and the conditions under which he endured.

Comment: “Patience” would be meekly submitting to discipline in every case. Add “to patience godliness.” “Godliness” is the wrong word, for that quality should be the
end, the highest step. Godliness and love are synonymous. The thought here should be
love and reverence for God, God-likeness. Thus the word “piety” is a better translation, for piety is a form of reverence. Piety can also be considered decorum, as in 1 Timothy 3:15, “Behave thyself in the house of God.”

Comment: Strong’s and the Diaglott use the word “piety.”
Reply: The Greek word is eusebeia, and a famous historian was Eusebius, a name meaning piety, a reverent one.

Comment: Reprint 2155 states that God-likeness, piety, is “that devout controlling reverence for God which yields a hearty, cheerful, loving conformity to his will–fervency of spirit in serving the Lord.”

Reply: Piety is especially fervency in spirit in obeying the Lord. He is looking for obedience in us–that is the bottom line.

Works by themselves are meaningless.

“To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams [which is offered in sacrifice and may cost a little money]” (1 Samuel 15:22).

Obedience supersedes works.

2 PETER 1:7: “And to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity” 

Add to piety “brotherly kindness.” There are occasions where it is difficult to love all
brethren completely and indiscriminately. In other words, there are cases where we cannot manifest love to others because of their disobedience. For instance, 1 Corinthians 5:11 says, “I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”

The individual may not have even consecrated, but if he thinks he is a brother in truth and is a drunkard, a brawler, a fornicator, etc., we are to refrain from fellowship with him. Treating him in this manner is doing him a favor, for if he truly loves God, the truth, and the Lord’s people, he will feel he has done something wrong and will repent.

The Greek word for “brotherly kindness” is philadelphian. Some translations use “love of
the brotherhood,” and that is a better term.

We love those who fervently love God. We are drawn to such because they are of the brotherhood. Jesus particularly favored Peter, James, and John because they manifested a greater zeal for God. The incident in which Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus illustrates this favoritism (Mark 5:35–43). Another example is Jesus’ transfiguration (Matthew 17:1–9). That is the type of love we should have for the brotherhood.

We love those who love God, and the more they love Him, the more we love them.

Moreover, we are helped by their example. In the hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers,”
when we sing the words “All one body we,” we are thinking not of individuals but of the
brotherhood, of those who love Christ and are trying to serve God.

Add “to brotherly kindness charity [love]. If the previous step was love for the brotherhood, what is this highest type of love? It is agape love.

Comment: We love those who love God and have a special affinity for them because of our common bond, but our love must go beyond that point to where we love mankind.

Comment: This would be a principled love versus phileo love with an emotional basis.

Comment: We love the Lord, the brethren, humanity, our enemies, and also the brute
creation.

Reply: That is true, for principled agape love is broad. The Law shows how we should treat the animals; for example, they should not be unequally yoked in plowing. Agape love includes love for our enemies and doing good to them that despitefully use us (Matthew 5:44).

With this principled love, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son”
(John 3:16). Those who obey in the future will be saved, for God has made provision for the restitution of mankind. In other words, He will open the opportunity for salvation toothers besides the brotherhood. His love goes from the brotherhood to mankind and even to those who are enemies now but may not be once their eyes are opened in the Kingdom.

Only those who are incorrigible in iniquity will go into Second Death.

Remember that before Peter started the enumeration of the seven graces of the holy Spirit, he said, “And beside this, giving all diligence,” add to your faith, etc. (2 Peter 1:5).

Because we live in the world with its responsibilities and experiences, our time becomes important–the little time we have left after doing that which is right for family, employer, and others. We must give all diligence to add these seven qualities. Isn’t it remarkable that the impulsive Peter is like a statesman or a father in these epistles? True, he was a leader in the beginning of his Christian walk, but now he is more than that. In his first epistle, which was written only a couple of years before the second epistle, he called Marcus “my son” (1 Peter 5:13). Paul used the same terminology with Timothy, and that epistle was written near the end of Paul’s life. As the apostles aged in the truth, they matured. Peter underwent a radical, miraculous, almost unbelievable change from his days as a fisherman. True, he speaks according to the holy Spirit, but his own life is in harmony with that holy Spirit. He experienced these steps himself, and he is passing on the information to us. Later he says, “I am going to remind you of these things until the day I die, and the Lord Jesus has informed me that my death will occur soon.”

Comment: The verses being alluded to are quite touching: “Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shown me” (2 Peter 1:13,14).

2 PETER 1:8: “For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Comment: If “these things” (the seven steps above faith in verses 5–7) are in us and abound, we will make our calling and election sure. The fact that Peter uses the term “these things” five times in this chapter (verses 8–10, 12, 15) shows how important they are.

Reply: Yes, Peter is inclined to repeat words and references. For instance, the use of the
word “divine” twice in this chapter is unusual, for that word appears only three times in
the whole New Testament. The reason is that Peter recognized his own faults and weaknesses and how the Lord changed his life. He is admitting, as it were, that what God
did for him, He can do for us. Accordingly, Peter mentions the importance of developing
character and the various steps of grace that are required if we are to win a crown. We must have diligently tried to add the seven graces to our faith.

Comment: If the words “and abound” had been omitted, the meaning of the verse would have been a little different. All who get life on the spirit plane, including the Great
Company, must have these qualities, but to attain the Little Flock, to get an “abundant
entrance,” these qualities must abound in us and must increase more and more.

Reply: For example, when people do acts of kindness, are patient, etc., there is often a lack of consistency. With knowledge, some are satisfied with a certain level and stop there. These qualities must be diligently practiced if we would be more than overcomers.

Question: Is the “knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ” in verse 8 the same “knowledge” that is in verse 5?

Answer: The Greek gnosis is used in verses 5 and 6, and epignosis (full knowledge) is used in verses 2, 3, and 8. The words are the same except that epignosis is expressed more powerfully, i.e. with more fullness. By faith we know (gnosis) that Jesus is the Savior, that he died for our sins, and through this knowledge we are forgiven for our sins. In addition, we should also know in more fullness (epignosis) his sermons and parables, his life and character, and how he lived to please the Father.

The “knowledge” (gnosis) of verses 5 and 6 is the second step in the various graces of the holy Spirit, but epignosis embraces all seven steps, which would include a comparison and study of Jesus’ statements and teachings. However, epignosis has nothing to do with the depth of our understanding, which is not always the same. If we have not searched the Scriptures daily, if we have not habitually familiarized ourselves with the Word of God, with the life of Jesus, with the Old Testament, etc., we will be lacking.

Comment: In the footnote for the text “If these things be in you, and abound … ye shall
neither be barren nor unfruitful,” “barren” means “idle.”

2 PETER 1:9: “But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.”

To be “blind” in this sense is to be nearsighted, meaning the individual “cannot see afar
off.”

Question: What is the relationship between the first part of verse 9 and the second part? What does lacking the graces of the holy Spirit have to do with forgetting that we were purged from our old sins?

Answer: The object of our being purged from old sins is to grow in character. We are nearsighted if we do not always keep this goal in mind. Peter is saying, “It is not enough to just believe Jesus is the Savior and to be willing to suffer for him. We must have more understanding in order to please God.” Since we are imperfect and by nature fallen–our humanity is depraved–we must frequently occupy our minds with pure thoughts. Paul said, “Think on these things.” “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” (Philippians 4:8).

If we do not feed on pure thoughts, our minds will naturally gravitate to unspiritual things.

Those who neglect or do not see the necessity of developing the fruits of the holy Spirit, are “blind,” nearsighted. Far-sighted vision would be making our calling and election sure. We are not at the goal yet, so we must keep running.

We cannot let ourselves drift in our thinking or in our actions, but must school ourselves with God’s Word.

Comment: If we stagnate and do not grow in character, we stay in the sins from which we were supposed to be purged.

Reply: We must try to distance ourselves from the old man as far as possible. Of course we cannot do this completely, for he is saddled on our backs, but we must separate as far as possible from our own reasoning and our own will.

2 PETER 1:10: “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:”

The objective is to make our calling and election sure.

If we take our eyes off the goal, we will gravitate to our natural tendencies instead of to the supernatural tendencies of the Holy Spirit.

“If ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” The thought is that if we develop these fruits of the holy Spirit and they abound in us, we will never fail but will succeed in attaining the Bride class.

Comment: The Great Company will fall or fail to a certain extent.

2 PETER 1:11: “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the
everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.”

If we give all diligence to developing the fruits of the holy Spirit, if we have the right heart attitude and diligently practice Christianity throughout our Christian walk, we will get an abundant entrance into the Kingdom, for we will be obeying the promptings of God’s holy Spirit.

We are given “exceeding great and precious promises” so that we might inherit the divine nature.

The “everlasting kingdom” would be the age-lasting Kingdom (Greek aionian). The 144,000 will be on the throne and reign throughout the Kingdom Age.

 

Acknowledgment:

Bro. Frank Shallieu–for the content above which was an extract from “Epistles of Peter” The full study is on the Bible Study Library CD which can be accessed at the following link: https://herald-magazine.com/bookstore-2/#!/Bible-Study-Library/p/38387237/category=0

 

URL of this post: https://biblestudentsdaily.com/2016/08/06/2-peter-15-11-is-mere-faith-in-god-enough/

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