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Was Jesus really a pacifist?

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By Gnostic, I mean that you view the physical creation as bad, and the spiritual realm is good. You have a very dualistic worldview, which Christianity does not go along with. God created the physical world, and we will live eternally in new bodies. He also created and gave authority to states (governments) so that they would govern the people of the earth. He also called, gifted and gave authority to leaders of His church who are to be obeyed and followed. All things which your religion discounts, as far as I can tell by your posts.

 

No I wouldn't say creation is bad. God created it perfectly; yet we corrupted it. The Bible says Satan is the ruler of this world. Jesus taught that we are to live in this world yet not be part of it. I take that to mean not live as the world lives, live as Jesus taught. Paul talks about being in a constant battle between the spirit and flesh. They are opposed to each other. It may be semantics but because God created creation I would say it's not bad; yet things within creation are not perfect and some characteristics of creation are bad (sinful). The righteous spiritual realm is good. What the earthly states do are not our main concern. Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians. We follow the laws of the state unless they contradict God, and go about spreading the love of God in all aspects of our life. I agree we will live in new bodies. How that will 'look' or 'be' or 'where' I don't know. I do believe in spiritual leaders. I believe in groups of Christians and leaders and elders that oversee individual congregations. As I said before I'm a Christian. So my religion is simply Christianity. I realize there are a lot of different beliefs within Christianity that's why my authority is not any man or vision or teaching of a man; my authority is the Bible. As long as church leaders are following the Bible then I will be lead by them.

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Every individual, every family is under the protection of the law of the land. The government provides security, protection, law and order for the legal citizens of our country. It's our civil and Christian duty and privilege to participate in the government processes. Our goal is of attaining peace, security, prosperity and economically generating money, with hard work, with our fellow men, fellow women and familiies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I agree with everything you say except: "It's our...Christian duty...to participate in the government process." I see nothing against God for us to participate within the government; yet I'm not aware of any instruction from Jesus that it's our duty to participate. You might reconsider that thought or provide scripture to back up that God expects us to participate in the government.

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Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians.

 

What form does this good take?

 

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The life of Christians: what they say and do. How Christians treat others.

 

You said this: "Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians."

 

Is not loving one's neighbor a physical reality, as opposed to a "spiritual" one?

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Overturning tables in the Temple does not make him sound much like a pacifist.

 

Whether or not he would have been too gung ho in declaring war is, perhaps, another matter.

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When Jesus was in the earth, our world was rocked by violence. Crimes were committed against humanity as well as Jesus. However, Jesus never retorted back. He even did not try to publish the evildoers. Jesus was a pacifist, he never took arms, he never fought back.

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Jesus was a pacifist, he never took arms, he never fought back.

He won't be a pacifist when he returns.

 

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.

 

Then I saw an angel standing in the sun, and with a loud voice he called to all the birds that fly directly overhead, “Come, gather for the great supper of God, to eat the flesh of kings, the flesh of captains, the flesh of mighty men, the flesh of horses and their riders, and the flesh of all men, both free and slave, both small and great.”

 

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth with their armies gathered to make war against him who was sitting on the horse and against his army. And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presencehad done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur. And the rest were slain by the sword that came from the mouth of him who was sitting on the horse, and all the birds were gorged with their flesh. (Revelation 19:11-21

 

 

 

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You said this: "Good within this world is to be made by Christians who are part of a spiritual state. God is not counting on the earthly state to spread good even though He can. The main good comes from Christians."

 

Is not loving one's neighbor a physical reality, as opposed to a "spiritual" one?

 

Fair question. It's all about individual motive.

 

It is physically unnatural and financially harmful for me to spend my money, receiving nothing in return, on a stranger by putting gas in the strangers car that asks for my help. The motive for me to sacrifice my money is spiritual yet I'm doing the act physically in this world. This same principle applies in all aspects of a Christian's life. Self preservation is a major if not top priority in this physical world. It is unnatural in this physical world for man to sacrifice ourself; yet as a Christian we are motivated by spiritual principles of self sacrifice and servanthood (just like Christ) that we apply in our physical world.

 

So I have to say no to your question. Why should anyone love their neighbor based upon natural or physical reasons? Remember love is not just an insignificant word, it is: patient, kind, not jealous, doesn't brag, isn't unbecomingly, doesn't seek it's own, isn't provoked, doesn't keep account of wrongs suffered, doesn't rejoice in unrighteousness, rejoices with truth, bears all things, hopes all things, endures all things, never fails. These are qualities that are not normal in this physical world to show towards another. It takes something more powerful for one to exhibit these qualities; God's love.

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It is physically unnatural and financially harmful for me to spend my money, receiving nothing in return, on a stranger by putting gas in the strangers car that asks for my help. The motive for me to sacrifice my money is spiritual yet I'm doing the act physically in this world.
I'm sorry, but I don't see how you are getting nothing in return. Not only do you receive good feelings for helping, but also the reassurance that you live in a world where people help each other which means that if something happens to you or your loved ones others may help, and the possiblility that the person may repay the favour at a later date, even if they are a stranger. (And with certain people I know, they get to look good to others, and spend weeks talking about it for the social kudos and so they can show people how selfless and good they are). There are many non-spiritual reasons to do a good deed, and direct benefits in this world.

 

Regarding pacifism, see Matthew 8:5-13 and the centurion. Jesus did not reject soldiers, nor tell them to quit the army when he could have. He gave them a place like everyone else.

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I personally do get something from helping others. I agree with most everything you said in the first paragraph. My belief is without some type of spiritual guide or foundation or principle humans are self preserving and would not have a natural reason to go beyond what can serve them. Yes they may help someone but they would do so expecting something in return. I will concede some humans without God as a motive in their life may be more loving to others; yet I believe as a rule of thumb the vast majority of us would simply be selfish without God. Look at how man acted in the very beginning before Noah. We were so terrible God killed all of us except for one man and his family.

 

Regarding non violence, you seem to be making an argument based upon silence. We do not have any account of Jesus condoning violence. An argument can not be made based upon something not said, this is a fallacious invalid type of reasoning. Jesus did not say to harm anyone. We can't read into that any more than what we have recorded that he said. We know He said and did many things that we don't have an account of. Jesus used sinners and the "low life"of His time to do His work. I understand your point that Jesus praised His faith; however it can not be inferred that Jesus was saying it's ok to harm someone. There are so many other clear scriptures that speak plainly about God's expectation of His people to be non violent.

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There are so many other clear scriptures that speak plainly about God's expectation of His people to be non violent.

 

Likewise, there are so many contrary Scriptures that exempt Rulers and Government from pacifism. Nice job by the way, seems you have been rather effective in neutralizing any arguments from the OT. It is no surprise to me that a Pacifist rejects anything outside of the Red Print and isolates even its verses from the rest of the NT.

 

God bless,

William

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Regarding pacifism, see Matthew 8:5-13 and the centurion. Jesus did not reject soldiers, nor tell them to quit the army when he could have. He gave them a place like everyone else.

 

After Jesus told Peter to put up his sword and said, Matthew 26:53 "Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?" What do you think those angels might do? Turn with me to the OT during Sodom and Gomorrah, oh wait, someone said "we can't use the OT".

 

God bless,

William

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We do not have any account of Jesus condoning violence.

We do have statements by Jesus affirming his belief in the Old Testament, where we learn that God commanded capital punishment and ordered his people to engage in warfare.

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We do have statements by Jesus affirming his belief in the Old Testament, where we learn that God commanded capital punishment and ordered his people to engage in warfare.

 

You're absolutely correct. It does not invalidate my statement.

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In the Old Testament God commanded that people guilty of certain crimes be killed. He sometimes commanded the Israelites to engage in warfare and when they entered the promised land he ordered them to kill all the inhabitants of the land. The Bible also teaches that God is a Trinity and that Jesus is one of the three persons in the Godhead so in reality it was Jesus himself who commanded capital punishment and warfare.

 

Here is how the Bible describes his return.

 

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

 

He will destroy his enemies.

 

Jesus committed many acts of violence before his incarnation and he will do the same when he returns. Perhaps he could be described as a pacifist during his incarnation but that is only because the reason he came then was to provide salvation by dying for our sins. Anyone who rejects his salvation will have to face his wrath sometime in the future.

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In the Old Testament God commanded that people guilty of certain crimes be killed. He sometimes commanded the Israelites to engage in warfare and when they entered the promised land he ordered them to kill all the inhabitants of the land. The Bible also teaches that God is a Trinity and that Jesus is one of the three persons in the Godhead so in reality it was Jesus himself who commanded capital punishment and warfare.

 

Here is how the Bible describes his return.

 

Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven, arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords. (Revelation 19:11-16)

 

He will destroy his enemies.

 

Jesus committed many acts of violence before his incarnation and he will do the same when he returns. Perhaps he could be described as a pacifist during his incarnation but that is only because the reason he came then was to provide salvation by dying for our sins. Anyone who rejects his salvation will have to face his wrath sometime in the future.

 

You're right, I agree with everything you said. I would add that Jesus' purpose was not just to provide salvation when He was a man. His other purpose was God's prophet, telling/showing us how to live. There is a distinct difference in what God/Jesus told the Hebrews to do and what He tells us to do. The New Covenant brought about a "New" message from God. Part of that message was absolute love; which absolute love does not allow us to judge which life is more valuable than another, God will do that as it describes in Revelation. Revelation is describing a different time also. This is the time when you could say it's time to pay the piper, judgement from God not man. It is describing what Jesus will do, not instructing us on how to live. As a human is when Jesus showed us how to live.

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As a human is when Jesus showed us how to live.

One of the things he showed us is that we are allowed to defend ourselves and others, and even to use deadly for is necessary. Read Luke 22:36.

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One of the things he showed us is that we are allowed to defend ourselves and others, and even to use deadly for is necessary. Read Luke 22:36.

 

We have to be careful not to read something into scripture that is not there. Jesus does not in any way tell His disciples to defend themselves. 2 swords are not enough to do that. Besides the next few words Jesus speaks explains why He wants some of the disciples to have swords: it was to fulfill the OT prophecy that Jesus be among transgressors which the disciples and Jesus were in the eyes of the Romans by having those weapons. Also Jesus rebukes Peter shortly after for defending himself. That in no way is teaching to defend ourselves, it is in fact just the opposite. There are no instructions given to the disciples nor examples of the disciples defending themselves as they went about spreading the Gospel. This is hard to accept (it was for me when I first came to study and accept this principle of Jesus); yet it is the teachings and examples of Jesus and also the first disciples.

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Got nothing to do at work so I will take a shot.

Was Jesus really a pacifist? My answer: An emphatic NO!

Start with a definition. Pacifist: a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.

Thus, if I can find one occurrence in which Christ makes "war" or is violent" I prove my case.

Premise 1: God never changes (Job 23:13 Psalm 102:27) (thus, what He does in N.T. does not make what He did in the O.T. irrelevant in regards to His nature. (Pacifism is a characteristic on one's nature, though I submit pacifism is not of God's nature)

 

 

Premise 2: Christ has the same nature as God. John14.9 thus anything God does is of the same nature as Christ and vise versa.

 

Example of God being Violent or making war:

Let's keep it simple. I can give one example of eternal and perpetual violence (non-pacifism) commissioned by God (who has the same nature as Christ).

Since Adam's time and forever more people will be in a violent place (Hell). This is a place created and sustained by God/Jesus (John 1:3)where God will forever cause pain. Thus, God/Christ cannot be correctly described as a pacifist. (unless you ascribe to universalism)

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We have to be careful not to read something into scripture that is not there. Jesus does not in any way tell His disciples to defend themselves. 2 swords are not enough to do that. Besides the next few words Jesus speaks explains why He wants some of the disciples to have swords: it was to fulfill the OT prophecy that Jesus be among transgressors which the disciples and Jesus were in the eyes of the Romans by having those weapons. Also Jesus rebukes Peter shortly after for defending himself. That in no way is teaching to defend ourselves, it is in fact just the opposite. There are no instructions given to the disciples nor examples of the disciples defending themselves as they went about spreading the Gospel. This is hard to accept (it was for me when I first came to study and accept this principle of Jesus); yet it is the teachings and examples of Jesus and also the first disciples.

The disciples only had two swords because Jesus had just given the command and they had not had an opportunity to obey it yet. Also the command to buy a sword was only one of the commands he gave. “But now let the one who has a moneybag take it, and likewise a knapsack. And let the one who has no sword sell his cloak and buy one.” What was the purpose of the commands to carry a moneybag and a knapsack?

 

Here is the prophecy about Jesus being among transgressors.

 

Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,

and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,

because he poured out his soul to death

and was numbered with the transgressors;

yet he bore the sin of many,

and makes intercession for the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:12

 

This was fulfilled when he was crucified between two criminals.

 

Peter wasn't trying to defend herself when he used his sword. He was trying to defend Jesus. It was wrong for him to do this because Jesus had to die to atone for our sins. This shouldn't be taken as a command never to use force.

 

 

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David was a man after the Lord's own heart. David was a man of war. There are many instances in the Bible where just war is used and approved of by the Lord. Also, Exodus 15:3, "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." It is also clear in Scripture that self-defense is justified even if it results in the death of the perpetrator. Also, Jesus' disciples carried swords for self-defense. There are also just soldiers and police officers who may kill if it is righteous. The LORD is also pleased with hunters if they are just. Jesus is not a pacifist. Jesus is righteous and peaceful and just.

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On 12/28/2017 at 9:16 AM, Fastfredy0 said:

Got nothing to do at work so I will take a shot.

Was Jesus really a pacifist? My answer: An emphatic NO!

Start with a definition. Pacifist: a person who believes that war and violence are unjustifiable.

Thus, if I can find one occurrence in which Christ makes "war" or is violent" I prove my case.

Premise 1: God never changes (Job 23:13 Psalm 102:27) (thus, what He does in N.T. does not make what He did in the O.T. irrelevant in regards to His nature. (Pacifism is a characteristic on one's nature, though I submit pacifism is not of God's nature)

 

 

Premise 2: Christ has the same nature as God. John14.9 thus anything God does is of the same nature as Christ and vise versa.

 

Example of God being Violent or making war:

Let's keep it simple. I can give one example of eternal and perpetual violence (non-pacifism) commissioned by God (who has the same nature as Christ).

Since Adam's time and forever more people will be in a violent place (Hell). This is a place created and sustained by God/Jesus (John 1:3)where God will forever cause pain. Thus, God/Christ cannot be correctly described as a pacifist. (unless you ascribe to universalism)

Most if not all of what you said is true.  The main point for Christians; though, is what are our characteristics/nature suppose to be.  God is clear that He is the only one with the authority to exact revenge; not Christians.  What God expects of His people most definitely has changed.  I'm not going to speak one way or the other regarding the nature of God changing.  What matters for man is how are we to live to be pleasing to God.  Jesus showed us exactly that, by becoming man.  So to make the point that man is never justified in retaliating against or harming another it doesn't matter that God wagged war and will exact revenge upon man at judgement.  Jesus was clear as to His principles for us to follow when He lived as a man.  Philippians 2:3-8  Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  You can argue that God is not a pacifist or nonviolent; however that is irrelevant as to His instruction for us to be pleasing to Him.

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On 12/28/2017 at 8:24 PM, CDF47 said:

David was a man after the Lord's own heart. David was a man of war. There are many instances in the Bible where just war is used and approved of by the Lord. Also, Exodus 15:3, "The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name." It is also clear in Scripture that self-defense is justified even if it results in the death of the perpetrator. Also, Jesus' disciples carried swords for self-defense. There are also just soldiers and police officers who may kill if it is righteous. The LORD is also pleased with hunters if they are just. Jesus is not a pacifist. Jesus is righteous and peaceful and just.

Examples and teachings from God in the OT were for the Hebrews/Jews.  God's teachings for His people today do not come from the OT, they come from Jesus.  Jesus did away with that and established a new way in which God desires His people to live.  One example of numerous, numerous, numerous principles of Jesus is when He references the OT: you know from old an eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth is justifiable, BUT I SAY to you turn the other check when you are hit.  What is the principle?  Before, God allowed equal retaliation/punishment; yet now Jesus is instructing man that this is no longer applicable.  Man is not to retaliate and seek or expect retribution.  The nature, characteristics, responsibilities, expectations of God is not a reasoning for us living a certain way.  The life of Jesus as a man is the way we are to live and His principles are very clear if we let them speak to us without prejudice.

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           6. Marvin Vincent: An unquestionable prayer to Christ.
      http://www.godrules.net/library/vincent/vincentact7.htm There are several important points concerning Stephen's prayer to the Lord Jesus in Acts 7:59-60:
           1. The worship of the Father and the worship of the Lord Jesus is demonstrated by Luke in Christ's prayer to the Father (Luke 23:34, 46) and in Stephen's prayer to Christ (Acts 7:59-60). Some try to evade the fact that the Lord Jesus is being prayed to by pointing out that Stephen was experiencing a vision of the Lord Jesus so it really doesn't constitute a prayer. However, the vision took place in the city while the prayer took place after he was "cast out of the city" (Acts 7:58). Others have claimed that since Paul appealed (epikaloumai) to Caesar (Acts 25:11) it doesn't mean that when Stephen called (epikaloumenon) to the Lord Jesus prayer is involved. To this it is answered that in Acts 7:59 the Lord Jesus heard what Stephen said at that very moment. The same can not be said concerning Caesar's ability to hear what Paul spoke at that precise moment. One must consider how the Greek word is used in context. Indeed, concerning the Greek word deomai (Strong's #1189) we see that in Luke 9:40 a man "begged" (deomai) Christ's disciples. This doesn't mean he prayed to them even though deomai is used in Luke 10:2 concerning praying (deomai) to the Lord of the harvest. Notice as well that Paul's verbal appeal to Caesar pales in significance to what Stephen expressed. Stephen called out to the Lord Jesus to receive his spirit. This carries with it the idea that the Lord Jesus is God the Creator (see Ecclesiastes 12:7 below). In addition to this is the fact that the Lord Jesus, being the Heart-knower of all, fully knew what Stephen was going to say even before he spoke. This is a powerful proof of His Deity. Stephen prayed to the Lord Jesus, but Paul did not pray to Caesar. Still others maintain that Stephen prayed to the Lord Jesus in Acts 7:59 but that he prayed to the Father in Acts 7:60. This assertion is really absurd. While the rocks mercilessly pummeled Stephen there is no need for him to say the "Lord Jesus" when he already clearly did so in Acts 7:59.   Acts 9:14
      And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name. (ESV)     
           1. Allen P. Ross: In the NT the word is used is many of the same ways as in the OT, but most notable is the way that the name of Jesus is substituted for the name of God. Now one can call on (i.e., worship) the name of Jesus (Acts 9:14) (NIDOTTE 4:151, name - shem).     
           2. Barclay Newman and Eugene Nida: The phrase call on your name is equivalent to "worship you" (A Translator's Handbook on The Acts of the Apostles, Acts 9:14, page 191).[*1]           3. Daniel Whedon: A clear declaration that the very peculiarity of the Christian was praying to Jesus.
      http://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/acts-9.html#1      4. J. C. O'Neill: To call on the name of the Lord Jesus was to worship the God of Israel (The Use of KYRIOS in the Book of Acts, Scottish Journal of Theology, Volume 8, Issue 2, c. June, 1955, page 172).   [*1] Calling upon the name of the Lord (Acts 9:14) also means to believe in the Lord (Acts 22:19).  Acts 9:14 And here he has authority from the chief priests to bind all who call on your name. (ESV)      Acts 22:19 And I said, Lord, they themselves know that in one synagogue after another I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. (ESV)  If anyone claims to believe in Jesus but refuses to worship Jesus then they do not believe in the biblical Jesus (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:4). Indeed, just as believing in God with all of one's household implies the worship of God (Acts 16:34), so too does believing in the Lord Jesus with all of one's household imply the worship of the Lord Jesus (Acts 18:8).
      Acts 9:21
      All those hearing him continued to be amazed, and were saying, "Is this not he who in Jerusalem destroyed those who called on this name, and who had come here for the purpose of bringing them bound before the chief priests?" (NASB - the underlined is mine) Galatians 1:23 but only, they kept hearing, "He who once persecuted us is now preaching the faith which he once tried to destroy." (NASB - the underlined is mine) Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was making every effort to write you about our common salvation, I felt the necessity to write to you appealing that you contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints. (NASB - the underlined is mine)      1. Praying to the Lord Jesus as YHWH (Acts 9:21)[*1] is equated with "the faith" (Galatians 1:23)[*2] that Christians must "contend earnestly for" (Jude 1:3). Those who refuse to pray to the Lord Jesus as YHWH do not belong to the Christian faith for their faith/gospel is accursed (Galatians 1:8-9).[*3]      [*1] Those who have been sanctified by faith in Christ Jesus are the same ones who have called upon His name as YHWH in prayer. Acts 26:18 to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (NASB - the underlined is mine) 1 Corinthians 1:2 To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours. (NASB - the underlined is mine)   [*2] The same Greek word (portheo) is employed for "destroyed" in Acts 9:21 and "destroy" in Galatians 1:23.   [*3] Concerning "the faith" in Galatians 1:23 the BDAG (3rd Edition) reads: If the principal component of Christianity is faith, then p. can be understood as the Gospel in terms of the commitment it evokes (pistis, page 820).   Acts 22:16-21 (The Lord of the temple) (16) Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.’
      (17) “It happened when I returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the temple, that I fell into a trance,
      (18) and I saw Him saying to me, ‘Make haste, and get out of Jerusalem quickly, because they will not accept your testimony about Me.’
      (19) And I said, ‘Lord, they themselves understand that in one synagogue after another I used to imprison and beat those who believed in You.
      (20) And when the blood of Your witness Stephen was being shed, I also was standing by approving, and watching out for the coats of those who were slaying him.’
      (21) And He said to me, ‘Go! For I will send you far away to the Gentiles.’” (NASB) Although occurring at different times both of Paul's prayers to the Lord Jesus are brought together by Luke in Acts 22:16-17. Paul calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus in prayer (Acts 22:16) and immediately afterwards he is praying in the temple (Acts 22:17).[*1] That the Lord Jesus responds (Acts 22:18) implies Paul was praying to Him on both occasions (Acts 22:16-17).   [*1] David Peterson: Moreover, Paul's vision implies that the risen Jesus is Lord of the temple, who reveals his will and commissions his servant in that context for his mission to the nations. The parallel with Isaiah's call in Isaiah 6 becomes all the more stunning when it is realised that the risen Lord Jesus takes the roll of 'the Lord God Almighty' in directing Paul and warning him about the opposition he will receive (cf. the recollection of Is. 6:9-10 in Acts 28:24-28) (The Acts of the Apostles, Pillar New Testament Commentary, page 604-605).  There are further similarities when we compare the missions given by the Lord to both Isaiah and to Paul while he was in the temple (the underlined below is mine). Isaiah 42:6-7 (6) I am the LORD, I have called You in righteousness,
      I will also hold You by the hand and watch over You,
      And I will appoint You as a covenant to the people,
      As a light to the nations, (7) To open blind eyes,
      To bring out prisoners from the dungeon
      And those who dwell in darkness from the prison. (NASB) Acts 26:17-18 (17) rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you,
      (18) to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in Me. (NASB)  Notice as well that the Lord will watch over Isaiah (Isaiah 42:6) and in like manner rescue Paul (Acts 26:17). The nations (Isaiah 42:6) to whom the light will be sent refers to the Gentiles (Acts 26:17). Before their conversion they were prisoners in the dungeon (Isaiah 42:7) which means they were under the dominion of Satan (Acts 26:18). That God called Isaiah to bring them out (Isaiah 42:7) parallels the message Paul would preach of being forgiven/set free from one's sins by faith in Christ (Acts 26:18).  

      in God (Trinitarian doctrines)

    • The true worship of Jesus by the Jehovah's Witnesses (2 Timothy 4:16-18)

      2 Timothy 4:16-18 (16) At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. (17) But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all the Gentiles might hear; and I was rescued out of the lion’s mouth. (18) The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen. (NASB)   In their book Stay Close to Jehovah's Organization the Jehovah's Witnesses assert the following (the bold face is mine):  Even if you do find yourself isolated from all your Christian brothers, keep in mind that you are not isolated from Jehovah and his Son, Jesus Christ. Your hope can remain firm. Jehovah can still hear your prayers, and he can strengthen you with his spirit. Look to him for guidance. Remember that you are a servant of Jehovah and a disciple of Jesus Christ. Therefore, make good use of opportunities to witness. Jehovah will bless your efforts, and others may soon join you in true worship.—Acts 4:13-31; 5:27-42; Phil. 1:27-30; 4:6, 7; 2 Tim. 4:16-18. (Organized to Do Jehovah's Will, see the 5th to the last paragraph). https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1102014947    As with all the other passages cited 2 Timothy 4:16-18 is also used in reference to true worship.   Notice though that the Jehovah's Witnesses affirm that the "Lord" in both 2 Timothy 4:17 and 2 Timothy 4:18 refers to the Lord Jesus.      a. Our Kingdom Ministry—2014: Even in his heavenly position, Jesus shows personal interest. (2 Tim. 4:17) (Improving Our Skills in the Ministry—Showing Personal Interest) https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/202014401      b. The Watchtower: The individuals hearing Jesus could, if they faithfully served God, have the expectation of reigning with Christ in heaven. (2 Tim. 4:18; Rev. 20:4, 6) (Questions From Readers, March 1, 1967). https://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/1967167    Thus the Jehovah's Witnesses (inadvertently?) affirm that true worship is properly rendered unto the Lord Jesus.  

      in Arianism

    • Why Did Jesus Sleep During the Storm?

      The story of the sea storm in the Gospel of Mark picks up right after Jesus has given a series of sermons. He’s preached to a crowd so large that he had to speak from a boat pushed a short distance into the water. Mark 4:35–41 tells the story of Jesus calming the storm—but, curiously, we find the Lord asleep as the chaos breaks out around him: And a great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion. And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. (Mark 4:37–39) Why was Jesus asleep in the boat? There are a few possible explanations. Mark, as well as most of the other biblical authors, is spare with his details—including only those elements necessary to the author’s agenda—so we could assume it’s a salient element to the story. There are three possibilities. 1. A Link to Jonah Perhaps Mark tells us Jesus is sleeping in order to link the account to Jonah. The story of Jonah shares similar elements and language (in its Greek translation) to the one in Mark 4, which suggests Mark is evoking the story. One is the idea of the main character sleeping in the bottom of the boat during the storm, though the language used to describe Jonah is more vivid and possibly pejorative. 2. A Clue about Jesus’s Humanity Jesus is fully human: He works hard, does much public speaking, and deals with many different people, all of whom want something from him. Given the strains ordinary ministers experience in their daily work, the fully human Jesus must have suffered from exhaustion during his earthly ministry. 3. A Clue about Jesus’s Divinity Though Jesus is a human, he also has full confidence in his divine identity. As only the second person of the Trinity can, Jesus sleeps like a baby amid the chaos, secure in the realization that he is one with the Creator, and his time has not come. His sleep signals divine insight: Jesus knows he’s not going to die tonight. Of course, all three of these explanations are possible at the same time, because human language in the hands of a skilled author can convey multiple complex ideas at once. Why These Three Options? Surely, the sleeping Jesus is supposed to make you think about Jonah’s story (the first option), where a suspicious storm develops and is quieted by God and all the witnesses are left terrified. Remember when the sailors cast lots, asking, “Who has brought this storm on us?” The lot falls on Jonah. They begrudgingly throw the prophet overboard, and the storm immediately dissipates. The emphasis is on who calms the storm. The Lord, Creator of heaven and earth, stills it, and the sailors know they have just witnessed God’s hand and his complete authority over the forces of creation. In Jonah 1:16, “the men feared the LORD exceedingly.” The Greek translation of this passage emphasizes the great fear the sailors experience when they see God’s power on display. It’s even greater than their fear of the storm (1:5). It’s fear-inducing to know that the cosmic God who calms the storm also cares about the rebellion of a single man. In Mark, Jesus also sleeps. The disciples wake him for fear of their lives (as in Jonah, the sleeper is roused with a rhetorical question), and the wind and waves are calmed. Mark seems to be drawing our attention to the agent who calms the storm. In Jonah, the agent is the Lord, but in Mark 4 it is Jesus. Jesus is to the storm in Mark 4 what God is to the wind and waves in Jonah 1. And as if to drive the point home, the disciples who bear witness to all of this are described in virtually the same phraseology used in the Greek translation of Jonah. They are “exceedingly afraid” (Mark 4:41).  The storm was terrifying, but this prophet in the boat with the power to speak truth to the weather presents an entirely new source of fear. The authority of God inspires such fear in those who see it firsthand. But the second option works as well. Jesus’s sleep in the boat is a reminder of his humanity. It’s a fascinating idea that there were regular moments when the God-man, the Lord of the universe, may have laid down and pondered some random thoughts before sleep overtook him. As a human, he could grow tired, even to a point of exhaustion. So he gets in the boat and lies back like a business traveler on a red-eye flight, trying to fit in sleep wherever he can. Mark’s audience could readily identify with Jesus’s humanity. The third option is also compelling. Just the fact that Jesus sleeps is a clue to his divinity. How? Jesus didn’t fear the wind and waves or anything they could do to him. The Creator need not be restless in the face of a dangerous creation. When Jonah secretly sleeps below the decks, he does so in a spirit of fatalism and dread. When Jesus sleeps in the hull of the boat, he does so in confidence. He doesn’t lose sleep on account of weather patterns. Jesus is more than a teacher; he’s a miracle-worker. Once the reader absorbs that point, Mark ups the ante. Jesus is more than a teacher and more than a miracle-worker. He has the authority of the Creator himself. View the full article

      in Christian Current Events

    • When did Jesus begin his ministry?

      Jesus was born during the reign of Caesar Augustus, and maybe two or three years before the death of Herod.  This puts his birth year in 7 BC or 6 BC.  He began his ministry when he was about thirty (Luke 3: 23), which would be about the year 23 AD or 24 AD.   But the ministry of Jesus was preceded by that of John, which began in the fifteenth year or the reign of Tiberius (Luke 3: 1&2) – either 28 AD or 29 AD.   So I am wondering: In which year did Jesus begin his ministry?  Also, in which year was he crucified?

      in New Testament

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