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Posts Tagged ‘Jews’

I’m sure, in these troubling end-times we find ourselves in , that the Lord is graciously working in those who have a love for His truth,  to bring us into true scriptural unity . I believe this because we are living in a time like no other, with the world, not to mention the ‘church’ at large, in the grip of widespread lies, confusion and deceit via the Media.  The Lord knows we have great need of Him.

Therefore, as true Christians, I think we are duty-bound to find out the truth of any matter when we read or hear preaching on something that seems not quite right or is a new ‘interpretation’ of scripture. They may be right – BUT – they may be wrong! Our love for truth must be strong so that we can obey God’s word and be set free from our doubts, uncertainty and downright deception.

Many give up on it because they think it’s an impossible task to all agree on Bible doctrine or may even, like Pilate, say  ‘what is truth?’ But, if, as I believe, it is God working in us to open our eyes, then we simply have to desire and love the truth for Him to answer our prayers on this. In fact – this is precisely what has happened to me recently.

The Apostles were the custodians of the truth of the Gospel and Church life and we must follow their teachings 1 Thess 2:13.  And I am becoming more and more aware that for any scripture verses we may find difficult, it is even more important to read the context they are set in and to also understand why the writers wrote what they did. Much was written to correct errors and as follow-up to other epistles, so we do need to let scripture interpret scripture. And also – is this teaching bringing us into bondage or setting us free?

Two passages I had long puzzled over are Hebrews 10:24,25  and  1Cor 14:26-36  verses that I’d always thought weren’t being interpreted correctly because the spirit of those interpretations seemed t0 me to contradict the Gospel of grace.  So I recently supplicated the Lord to lead me into the truth on these matters, and left it at that.

Then, purely by chance I came across an insightful comment left on Facebook by a Christian believer, Alan Heron, on the Hebrew verses in question. It was by far the most logical scriptural reasoning I’ve heard and makes a lot of sense to me.

To very loosely quote him : ” many Jewish believers were avoiding contact and keeping their  distance from other believers to try to avoid persecution from the Jewish Sanhedrin”. See Galations 2:11-13  ” Paul was speaking against such a practise NOT commanding them to to meet every Sabbath or every sunday at a certain location. To use this scripture [Heb] for the idea that you cannot be a follower of Christ without having other believers with you is not backed up by Paul’s experience”

I would also say that it was assumed – in the churches that I was ever involved with at least – that if you didn’t go to church you were in danger of ‘back-sliding’ big time ! This is like saying the ‘church’ keeps you , not Christ.  Indeed , at the last AoG church I went to [ which I wrote a Post on here at the time], to my dismay, suddenly the heavy hand of Church Membership came down,  bringing condemnation to those, like myself, who through life’s circumstances [and creeping old age!] didn’t attend regularly. Your spirituality and walk with the Lord was a matter of outward appearance ….   Of course they used the Hebrew verses as the final word – which I had no answer to – it was there in scripture;  I knew it was being misapplied but had no insights into ‘how?’

The extremes of this is demonstrated in the kingdom – type  churches, community churches and purpose-driven etc, where you are required to sign Covenants and the like !  See Galations 2:4

Regarding the role of women in the church , this has been a subject that I’ve found particularly taxing over the years.  Let me say, here and now, I do not have nor have I ever had a desire to teach, preach or otherwise be up-front in Church or any other situations. I say this because some may think I write what I do because I have a secret or ulterior motive to be a somebody ….   the Lord knows my heart is for His truth alone.

No  – because the Lord so graciously answered my prayer about Heb.10 , I felt encouraged to ask Him for the truth of this matter also  [ 1 Cor 14:26-36] and again I left it at that.

So – the first thing that crossed my path was a video by Jacob Prasch on this very subject. Much as I like his preaching in general, whenever I’ve heard him preach on women he [like many others ] seems to have to  juggle the scriptures somewhat to arrive at conclusions that match reality. The reality is that women are used in the mission fields to ‘teach’ men , and also in various ‘ministries’ within their churches. But that’s ok if they have what Jacob Prasch calls male covering – that is male ‘permission’ to do it.

I know that these male Leaders want to obey what they believe the Bible teaches, but to put these strict restrictions on women seems more akin to the Jewish faith they have left behind and its huge reliance on oral tradition. There is an awful contradiction here and conflicting levels of what one church leader  will allow compared to another. But Christianity has always treated its women with more dignity and very  differently to all other religions.

There are fall-outs too for some of the men who strictly adhere to their interpretation of these verses, and they are not good ones!  For instance,  there have been times when I’ve been in on-line or face to face discussions with male leaders who clearly resent the fact I have vocalised [ in a humble spirit I hope] some disagreement I had with their teaching. They do not take it well and the mere fact that I’m female negates anything I may say because of their belief that I’m trying to ‘teach’ a man!!

Sometimes I think the extreme teachings about women  end up placing an unecessary  burden on some men in their practical every day lives and situations.  eg – I was in a fellowship once that had a lovely young married couple attending. The husband was really upset because he obviously loved his wife but had tried to make her ‘submit’ to him in some matter and she wouldn’t !  He’d had teaching on the subject in some exclusive ‘mens’ group no doubt,  which turned out to be a disaster for him. Surely this wasn’t what the Lord required of him?

Well  – the great thing about the Internet is that one link can, and often does, lead to another that we otherwise would not know about – and so it was I came across http://realchurchlife.wordpress.com   Specifically a Post titled “Let Your women keep silence in the Churches” Really?   filed under Women in Ministry.  As it’s a far better coverage of this than I could give,  I hope you will be inclined to read it.  The Post also gives links to Oxford Bible Church and Christian Egalitarian Marriage , which are equally enlightening.  So again, my thanks  to the Lord for His gracious answers to my prayers.

Please remember these are my musings and opinions – but I hope and pray scripturally aware ones.

I hope to post here again sooner than later …. I’ve been very lax I know!   blessings,   Eileen

 

 

 

 

 

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My childhood years were disrupted by absences from home, but a lot of it was spent growing up in East London. I therefore was aware of Jewish people as they seemed to my family, who didn’t really have a high opinion of them. It wasn’t outright prejudice , but I think there was a certain resentment at what they percieved to be ‘miserliness’ and an aim in life to make money. In other words I grew up with a ‘stereotype’ of them.

Along with that I was also aware that they were ‘God’s Chosen People’, although I hadn’t a clue what that meant. It seemed to be a source of bafflement to everyone why the Jews had been so persecuted and singled out for such hatred the world over. The war years were only recently over so a certain amount of pity existed too. Deuteronomy 28:37 speaking about Israel reads : ” And thou shalt become an astonishment, a proverb and a byword among all nations whither the Lord shall lead thee.”

One of the amazing things that happened when I became a Christian was that I found I had an immediate love for  Jewish people  –  my new-found Saviour was a Jew and their unrecognised Messiah !  They were indeed God’s people, chosen in history to be custodians of  His Word and Law, although I believe that custody is temporarily transferred to the Church via the Gospel,because of their failure to accept the Lord Jesus Christ as the Messiah. I should point out here that of course the early church consisted of believing Jews, but as a nation they did reject Him. I do NOT believe that the Church has ‘replaced’ Israel in Bible prophecy.

God has not rejected Israel and His promises of future blessing for them still stands and will eventually culminate in their recognition of  ‘the One who they pierced’  and they will be in mourning for Him Zechariah 12:9-11 It is also recorded several times in the Old testament that God will bless those who are good to Israel but will not be happy with those who curse Israel [eg  Herr Hitler].

There can be no greater proof that the Bible is the Word of God than the fulfillment of the many  prophecies about Israel and the coming of  Jesus Christ into this world. The evidence is before our very eyes.

In discussions I’ve had with atheists etc the only ‘defense’ they offer is that the prophecies were written after the events ocurred !!  I’m no Bible ‘expert/scholar but those who are  , are well-versed in Bible history and can easily show that this is not the case. In any case – the one big proof  is Israel’s return to their own land in our own times.

It’s a fact of history that the Jewish people lost their Land and were scattered all over the world for nearly  2000 years.  Jesus’ own words in Luke 21:24 tell of this event : ” And they shall fall by the edge of the sword and shall be led away captive into all nations and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled”.

Deuteronomy 28: 64-66   ” And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from the one end of the earth even unto the other; and there thou shalt serve other gods which neither thou nor thy fathers have known, even wood and stone. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest: but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart and failing of eyes and sorrow of mind: and thy life shall hang in doubt before thee; and thou shalt fear day and night and shalt have none assurance of thy life. “

But for all His pronouncements of judgement, God also promised to bring the Jews back to their own Land again and from those of my generation in 1948 and on to this day we are witnesses to this fact.  There is a Scripture    Isaiah 66:8 which says :  ” Who hath heard such a thing? Who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? For as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children”

The “Israeli Declaration of Independence” was announced on 14th may 1948 and newspapers of the time had headlines ‘ State Of Israel is Born’.

In the Old testament the Land was divided into two Kingdoms – Israel and Judah. In Isaiah 11:12  we read:   ” And he shall set up an ensign for the nations and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel and gather together the dispersed of Judah  from the four corners of the earth”    and in  Ezekiel 37:21-22  –  ” And say unto them, thus saith the Lord God, Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side and bring them into their own land:  and I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all”      You can’t get more specific than that can you ?

To all intents and purposes the Jews should have been extinct by now seeing the efforts that have been made to destroy them. But God has His purposes and has preserved the nation of Israel as a testimony to His existence and the truth and reliability of His Word – the Bible.  See Isaiah 43:5-15 & 18-21.  It hasn’t been my intention here to speak about future things  concerning Israel and the Church eg the coming Great Tribulation/’Rapture’ of the Church etc.

This isn’t a great and comprehensive treatise on the subject of Israel but if you are someone who doesn’t acknowledge that the Bible is God’s Word, I hope you will reconsider and begin to look into these things yourself. There is a lot of historical info on Israel on Wikipedia if it interests you  and a Bible Concordance will help with looking up and locating relevant verses.  Happy hunting !           Please don’t hesitate to put me right if you spot mistakes.  God bless you.



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