Difference between pages "March - Christian Community Year Devotional" and "The Evangelical Holy Week"

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== Biblical Significance ==
  
  
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Luke 12:49-50 ''I Am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism [Holy Week - cross - resurrection] to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!'' ~ Jesus Christ
  
<h1>March - The Christian Walk</h1>
 
  
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==Introduction==
  
<h2>March 1</h2>
 
  
<h3>Out of Egypt</h3>
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<p>Getting Started on Our Ten Day Journey with Jesus</p>
  
   
 
<h4>Out of Egypt I have called My Son</h4>
 
  
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<center><p><b>Spending Resurrection (Easter) Week with Jesus 2,000 Years Ago</b></p></center>
  
<p>A relationship with God is found outside of the present worldly system, outside of Egypt. The Sons and Daughters of God are called to be outside of Egypt in order to be in eternal fellowship with God our Father.</p>
 
  
<blockquote><p>And [the family of Joseph, Mary and Jesus] was there [Egypt] until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the Prophet [Hosea], saying, Out of Egypt have I called My Son. ~ Matthew 2:15</p></blockquote>
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<center><p>Resurrection Week 2017<br />Journeying with Jesus the Last 10 Days He was physically on the Earth</p></center>
  
<blockquote><p>When Israel was a child, then I [God] loved him, and called My son [the family of Jacob] out of Egypt [to be the Nation of Israel]. As they [Moses and Aaron] called them, so they went [departed] from them [Egypt]: they sacrificed [in the desert - golden calf] unto [the false god of] Baalim, and burned incense to graven images. I taught [the Tribe of] Ephraim also to go, taking them by their arms; but they knew not that I healed them. <u>I drew them with cords of a man, with bands of love</u>: and I was to them as they that take off the yoke [bridle] on their jaws, and I laid food [the manna] unto them. He [Israel] shall not return into the land of Egypt [in captivity], and the Assyrian [a type of strong military strength] shall be his king [the Northern Kingdom was conquered by Assyria], because they refused to return. And the sword shall abide on his cities, and shall consume his branches, and devour them, <b>because of their own counsels</b>. And My people are bent to backsliding from Me: though they [Prophets, Priests, Kings] called them [Nation of Israel] to the Most High, none at all would exalt Him [in a proper Biblical Spiritual resurrection life way]. How shall I give you up, Ephraim? how shall I deliver you, Israel? how shall I make you as Admah [strangers]? how shall I set you as Zeboim [foreigners]? Mine heart is turned within Me, My repentings are kindled together. I will not execute the fierceness of Mine anger, I will not return to destroy Ephraim: for <u>I am God, and not man; the Holy One in the midst of you</u> (the Redemption of Israel): and I will not enter into the city [Jerusalem is forsaken for a time]. They shall walk after the LORD: He shall roar like a Lion: when He shall roar, then the children shall tremble from the west. They shall tremble as a bird out of Egypt, and as a dove out of the land of Assyria: and I will place them in their houses, says the LORD. Ephraim compasses Me about with lies, and the House of Israel with deceit: but Judah (lit. Praise) [the Southern Kingdom of Israel] yet rules with God, and is faithful with the saints. ~ Hosea 11:1-12</p></blockquote>
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<p><blockquote>Luke 12:49,50 But I am (Jesus) come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism (Crucifixion &amp; Resurrection) to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished (Fulfilled)!</blockquote></p>
  
<p>The false and compromised [emergent - worldly] churches of today are content in not leaving Egypt behind, content and desirous to still be in Egypt and of Egypt [i.e. edited Egyptian NT bible texts (codex Alexandrinus, codex Sinaiticus) and Saint Catherine's Monastery at Mt. Sinai, Egypt - modern man's artificial version of the biblical Exodus]. Even though Mt. Sinai in Egypt [not the real Mt. Sinai of Arabia (Galatians 4:25)] is in a distant and deserted corner of Egypt and though it has a slight appearance of a godly religion it's still Egypt, it's still the world and it is still going to perish.</p>
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<p>As disciples of Jesus, let's go back with Jesus and the original disciples to revisit and re-live the last week that Jesus spent on earth. This week is also referred to as "Holy Week." The 10 days will be Friday through the next Sunday. To examine the last week we will have to piece together many items and statements from throughout the Bible. As we go back to the original Holy Week, we will travel like students and detectives, searching the scriptures for events and clues that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. We will in actuality be students and  
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detectives of Jesus, searching out Who He is and what His ministry came to accomplish here on earth. </p>
  
<p>Yes, we as Christians are still in the world and yes, we as Christians are to have a positive Christian effect on the world as we Christians contribute positively to the world but in our Christian reality we are not of this world.</p>
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<p>Our first and most substantial clue to the last days of Jesus' visit on earth is the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and that He did it on the first day of the week, Sunday. We find this important information in each of the four gospels. <b>Matthew 21, Mark 16:1,2, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1</b>. Sunday is the first day of the week. We often consider Monday to be the first day of the week but Monday is actually the first workday of the week. A glance at any calendar will confirm that Sunday is listed first in the row with Saturday being the last day of the week. God prescribed in the 10 commandments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the last day of the week to be a "Sabbath" or a day of rest <b>Exodus 20:10</b>. The last day, Saturday, of each week is the rest day for every Jew. As detectives we write our first piece of information in the column with the heading of Sunday, "The resurrection of Jesus, from Death to Life." We currently celebrate this day as Easter but the correct name for this day is "Resurrection Sunday."</p>
  
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<p>Next as detectives <b>Matthew 12:40</b> tells us that Jesus Himself told the Scribes and the Pharisees who were asking of Him to perform a miraculous sign, that indeed a miraculous sign would be given. The sign would be that Jesus would spend three days and three nights in the center of the earth, just like Jonah the prophet spent three days and three nights in the whale's belly, <b>Jonah 1:17</b>. In many places the Bible tells that Jesus was to suffer and die then be resurrected the third day, <b>Matt 16:21, Mark 8:31, Luke 9:32</b>. Counting back from Resurrection Sunday three days and three nights, we now land on the Thursday column as the day of the Crucifixion of Jesus. Traditionally, Friday is celebrated as the day of crucifixion but remember we are journeying back to the original Holy Week to be with Jesus and His original disciples. Knowing that Thursday was the day of crucifixion, we also now know that Wednesday, the day before the crucifixion is the "Lord's Passover Feast" the day that Jesus celebrated the "Last Supper and Communion" with the disciples.</p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p>We now have five of our ten days of Jesus' activity known, the Sunday of Resurrection and the Thursday of Crucifixion and the Wednesday of the Last Supper or Passover. Now as detectives we can broaden our horizon of the last week and catch up to Jesus and the disciples. <b>John 12:1</b> tells us <b>"Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany where Lazarus was."</b> Six days before the Passover on Wednesday will place Jesus at Lazarus' house on the preceding Friday. We can now travel back to the Friday before the Passover and meet with Jesus and the disciples to spend the last Glorious week with Him.</p>
  
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==The Original Holy Week==
  
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A Timeline, Devotional and Biblical Explanation of the Events of the Original Ten Days of Holy Week
  
  
<h2>March 2</h2>
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===Friday===
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April 7, 2017
  
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'''Jesus and His disciples in the village of Bethany'''
  
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Mark 11:1-3 ''And when they [Jesus and His Twelve Disciples] came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and **Bethany, at the mount of Olives, He sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village [Bethphage] over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.''
  
<h3>Mephibosheth</h3>
 
  
   
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John 12:1-3 ''Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.''
<h4>Mephibosheth's Lame Walk</h4>
 
  
  
<p>Mephibosheth is granted by King David the right to sit at his table as a son.</p>
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<p>On our journey to be with Jesus we find that Bethany is located on the Mount of Olives, <b>Luke 19:29, Mark
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11:1</b> and that Bethany is less than 2 miles from Jerusalem <b>John 11:18</b>. Once we walk up the Mount of
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Olives and ask directions to Lazarus', Mary's, and Martha's house, we would come into a small stone house to find
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Martha busy working in the kitchen while Mary is seated and at rest beside Jesus. Lazarus whom Jesus had recently
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raised from the dead <b>John 11:44</b> was also seated at the table no doubt he had much to talk to Jesus about.
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If we came in at just the right moment, we would smell the aroma that filled the house as Mary anointed Jesus with
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almost a pound of very costly Spikenard oil <b>John 12:3</b>. We would hear Judas complain that the expensive
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ointment was wasted and hear the rebuke of Jesus as He defended Mary and proclaimed that she had committed an honorable
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act of worship in anointing Him for His coming burial.</p>
  
<blockquote><p>And Jonathan, [King] Saul's son, had a son [a grandson to King Saul] that was lame of his feet. He was five years old when the tidings [news of death] came of Saul and Jonathan out of Jezreel, and his nurse took him up, and fled: and it came to pass, as she made haste to flee, that he [Mephibosheth] fell, and became lame. And his name was Mephibosheth. ~ 2 Samuel 4:4</p></blockquote>
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====Personal Reflection #1====
  
<p>Mephibosheth was not only unable to walk he was also unable to receive of the goodness that King David had bestowed upon him. King David had granted that Mephibosheth be as a son among the Royal family yet Mephibosheth rejected King David's edict for his life and instead appropriated unto himself the self-designated title of worthless servant.</p>
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Anointing Oil
  
<blockquote><p>Now when Mephibosheth, the son of Jonathan, the son of [King] Saul, was come unto David, he fell on his face, and did reverence. And David said, Mephibosheth. And he answered, Behold your servant! And David said unto him, Fear not: for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father's sake, and will restore you all the land of Saul your father; and you shall eat bread at my table continually. And he bowed himself, and said, What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I am? Then the King [David] called to Ziba, Saul's servant, and said unto him, I have given unto your master's son [Mephibosheth the grandson of Saul] all that pertained to Saul and to all his house. You therefore, and your sons, and your servants, shall till the land for him, and you shall bring in the fruits, that your master's son may have food to eat: but Mephibosheth your master's son shall eat bread always at my table. Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants. Then said Ziba unto the King, According to all that my lord the King has commanded his servant, so shall your servant do. <u>As for Mephibosheth, said the King, he shall eat at my table, as one of the King's sons</u>. And Mephibosheth had a young son, whose name was Micha. And all that dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants unto Mephibosheth. So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem: for he did eat continually at the King's table; and was lame [unable to walk] on both his feet. ~ 2 Samuel 9:6-13</p></blockquote>
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<p>Mary Anointed Jesus with very costly and very precious oil. Biblically oil is a symbol of acceptance. To anoint someone is to accept them, to accept them for who and for what they are. Judas on the other hand did not want to bother with anointing Jesus. He didn't even want to be bothered with other people anointing Him. Mary was accepting Jesus. She had accepted that He had come to die for her in her place and was anointing Jesus for His coming burial. The cross of Jesus was something that even the disciples had not yet been able to come to grips with yet Mary had and Mary acknowledged and accepted Jesus for it. Having accepted the gift from Jesus that He was to die in her place for her sins she had now entered into a place of rest and comfort. Rest in that she did not have to work to amend for her own sins and comfort in that all things would be taken care of for her through God who is also King, her King Jesus.</p>
  
<p>The unfaithful servant Ziba betrays Mephibosheth.</p>
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<p>As we begin our walk with Jesus let's pause and reflect (Selah) about acceptance ... are there people in our own lives who we need to anoint and to accept even though we don't understand them? How much could our fellowships gain by this one simple act of anointing one another in the simple affection of acceptance. Anointing others with the precious oil of acceptance can only come from our own rest and security through the knowledge of what Jesus Himself has done and will do for us in our lives.</p>
  
<blockquote><p>And when [King] David was a little past the top of the hill [while fleeing Jerusalem from his son Absalom's rebellion], behold, Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth met him, with a couple of asses saddled, and upon them two hundred loaves of bread, and an hundred bunches of raisins, and a hundred of summer fruits, and a bottle of wine. And the King said unto Ziba, What mean you by these? And Ziba said, The asses be for the King's household to ride on; and the bread and summer fruit for the young men to eat; and the wine, that such as be faint in the wilderness may drink. And the King said, And where is [Mephibosheth] your master's son? And Ziba [falsely] said unto the King, Behold, he abides at Jerusalem: for he said, Today shall the house of Israel restore me the kingdom of my father [King Saul]. Then said the King [David] to Ziba, Behold, your are [now the owner of] all that pertained unto Mephibosheth. And Ziba said, I humbly plead to you that I may find grace in your sight, my lord, O King. ~ 2 Samuel 16:1-4</p></blockquote>
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<blockquote><p>Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life [eternal] for evermore. ~ Psalms 133:1-3</p></blockquote>
  
<p>All of Mephibosheth's grandiose acts of self-degradation and self-sacrifice in the end come to nothing.</p>
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<p>Are we anointing and accepting of ourselves? Biblically people are allowed to anoint - refresh themselves with oil (Matthew 6:17). In fact it is crucial that we accept ourselves. God has already accepted us. He created us and He is for us. How is it that we can reject what God has already accepted?</p>
  
<blockquote><p>And Mephibosheth the son [grandson] of [King] Saul came down [at the return of King David to Jerusalem] to meet the King [David], and [Mephibosheth] had neither dressed [washed] his feet, nor trimmed his beard, nor washed his clothes, from the day the King departed [Jerusalem] until the day he came again in peace. And it came to pass, when he was come to Jerusalem to meet the King, that the King said unto him, Wherefore went not you with me, Mephibosheth? And he answered, My lord, O King, my servant [Ziba] deceived me: for your servant [Mephibosheth] said, I will saddle me an ass, that I may ride thereon, and go to the King; because your servant is lame. And he [Ziba] has slandered your servant [Mephibosheth] unto my lord the King; but my lord the King is as an angel of God: do therefore what is good in your eyes. For all of my father's house were but dead men before my lord the King: yet did you set your servant among them that did eat at your own table. What right therefore have I yet to cry any more unto the King [Mephibosheth had every right to be heard by the King]? And the King [David] said unto him, Why speak you any more of your [self-abasement] matters? I have said, You and Ziba divide the land. And Mephibosheth [a person who never understood the goodness of the Kingdom of David and could never bring himself to receive any unmerited kindness] said unto the King, Yes, let him take all, forasmuch as my lord the King has come again in peace unto his own house. ~ 2 Samuel 19:24-30
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<p>Are we anointing and accepting of Jesus? Even today we can anoint Jesus with His precious costly oil of acceptance by accepting His accomplishments in His sacrificial death and eternal resurrection life for us and by trusting in His authority and Kingly rule over and in our lives.</p>
</p></blockquote>
 
  
<p>Everything that Mephibosheth did at the time seemed to be admirable, humble, righteous, gracious and even religious yet nothing that Mephibosheth did was at any time appropriate or even helpful for any of the moments or any of the many opportunities that existed. In the end Mephibosheth, just as Esau before him had done, gave away the very substance of his own birthright.</p>
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<p>We would like to be bold enough to take the steps to walk where Jesus walks, but it is now evident even on this day, day one, that Jesus does not walk as a human walks but that He walks as God walks. For us to walk with Jesus we are going to have to be bold and remove our focus from others and place it on God.</p>
  
<p><b>Conclusion:</b> we are going to look a little bit more into the life, events and decisions of Mephiboshet just to see what we can learn and discern in our own Christian Walk.</p>
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<p><b>Old &amp; New Testament Holy Week Prophecies</b></p>
  
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<blockquote><p>Therefore thus will I do unto you, O Israel: and because I will do this unto you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel. ~ Amos 4:12</p></blockquote>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<blockquote><p>We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy; unto which all of you do well that all of you take heed, as unto a Light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star [TriUne God - Holy Spirit] arise in your hearts: ~ 2 Peter 1:19</p></blockquote>
  
  
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===Saturday===
  
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April 8, 2017
  
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'''Palm Saturday the Triumphal Entry of King Jesus into Jerusalem, the Feast of Sabbath is fulfilled'''
  
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<blockquote><p>And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and He sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and scattered them in The Way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that comes in the Name of the Lord: Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David, that comes in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest. <b>And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the Temple</b> [only to look around - as the Passover Lamb of God in the House (Temple) of God "a lamb for an house" Exodus 12:3]: and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the <u>eventide</u> [lit. close of this Saturday Sabbath day] was come, <u>He went out</u> unto Bethany with the Twelve. ~ Mark 11:7-11</p></blockquote>
  
<h2>March 3</h2>
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====Personal Reflection #2====
  
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Jesus our Savior, our King, our Friend, our Rest
  
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<blockquote><p>Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.</p></blockquote>
  
<h3>Ittai and Barzillai</h3>
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<p>We too would like to join in with the rocks of Jerusalem and indeed all of creation and declare the glory of our God and King in Christ Jesus and as we do declare the Deity and Honor of Jesus we declare that we to can now rest in His rule and in His Authority.</p>
  
   
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<p>We rest in Jesus, resting physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is a wonderful accomplishment to be able to cease from worry, fear and anxiety. Few are they that enter into it but blessed are those who do as rest is something to be entered into, it is an achievement, an accomplishment.</p>
<h4>Ittai the Gittite and Barzillai the Gileadite</h4>
 
  
<p>In contrast to Mephibosheth several Gentiles including Ittai and Barzillai did overstep their boundaries and surpassed their roles in life by aiding and assisting King David during a very perilous time for the King.</p>
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<blockquote><p>Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.</p></blockquote>
  
<p>Ittai joins King David in exile.</p>
 
  
<blockquote><p>And there came a messenger to David, saying, The hearts of the men of Israel are after Absalom. And David said unto all his servants that were with him at Jerusalem, Arise, and let us flee; for we shall not else escape from Absalom: make speed to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly, and bring evil upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword. And the King's servants said unto the King, Behold, your servants are ready to do whatsoever my lord the King shall appoint. And the King went forth, and all his household after him. And the King left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house. And the King went forth, and all the people after him, and tarried in a place that was far off. And all his servants passed on beside him; and all the Cherethites, and all the Pelethites, and all the Gittites, six hundred men which came after him from Gath, passed on before the King. <u>Then said the King to Ittai the [Gentile] Gittite</u>, Wherefore go you also with us? return to your place, and abide with the [Gentile] King: <b>for you are a stranger, and also an exile</b>. Whereas you came but yesterday, should I this day make you go up and down with us? seeing I go where I may, return you, and take back your brethren: mercy and truth be with you. And <u>Ittai answered the King</u>, and said, As the LORD lives, and as my lord the King lives, surely in what place my lord the King shall be, whether in death or life, even there also will your servant be. And David said to Ittai, Go and pass over. And Ittai the Gittite passed over, and all his men, and all the little ones that were with him. And all the country wept with a loud voice, and all the people passed over: the King also himself passed over the brook Kidron (John 18:1), and all the people passed over, toward the way of the wilderness. ~ 2 Samuel 15:13-23</p></blockquote>
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===Sunday===
  
<blockquote><p>When Jesus had spoken these words, He went forth with His disciples over the brook Kidron (Cedron), where was a garden [the Garden of Gethsemane], into the which He entered, and His disciples. ~ John 18:1</p></blockquote>
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April 9, 2017
  
  
<p><b>Note:</b> Ittai is a type of Christian in that he is himself an exile and a stranger.</p>
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'''Jesus Cleanses the Temple of Moneychangers'''
  
<p>Barzillai and other Gentiles give supplies to King David.</p>
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Mark 11:12-17 ''And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And His disciples heard it. ***And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the Temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the Temple. And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My House [the Temple] shall be called of all Nations the House of Prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.''
  
<blockquote><p>And it came to pass, when David was come to Mahanaim, that [several Gentiles] Shobi the son of Nahash of Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and Machir the son of Ammiel of Lodebar, and <u>Barzillai the Gileadite</u> of Rogelim, Brought beds, and basons, and earthen vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched corn, and beans, and lentils, and parched vegetables, And honey, and butter, and sheep, and cheese of cattle, for [King] David, and for the people that were with him, to eat: for they said, The people is hungry, and weary, and thirsty, in the wilderness. ~ 2 Samuel 17:27-29</p></blockquote>
 
  
<p>King David blesses Barzillai at their departure.</p>
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====Personal Reflection #3====
  
<blockquote><p>And Barzillai the Gileadite came down from Rogelim, and went over Jordan [river] with the King [David], to conduct [help] him [King David] over Jordan [and back into Israel]. Now Barzillai was a very aged man, even fourscore years old: and he had provided the King of sustenance while he lay at Mahanaim; for he was a very great man. And the King said unto Barzillai, Come you over with me, and I will feed you with me in Jerusalem. And Barzillai said unto the King, How long have I to live, that I should go up with the King unto Jerusalem? I am this day fourscore [80] years old: and can I discern between good and evil? can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? can I hear any more the voice of singing men and singing women? wherefore then should your servant be yet a burden unto my lord the King? Your servant will go a little way over Jordan with the King: and why should the King recompense it me with such a reward? Let your servant, I pray you, turn back again, that I may die in mine own city, and be buried by the grave of my father and of my mother. But behold your servant Chimham; let him go over with my lord the King; and do to him what shall seem good unto you. And the King answered, Chimham shall go over with me, and I will do to him that which shall seem good unto you: and whatsoever you shall require of me, that will I do for you. And all the people went over Jordan. And when the King was come over, the King kissed Barzillai, and blessed him; and he returned unto his own place. ~ 2 Samuel 19:31-39</p></blockquote>
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Unfruitfulness in Our Own Life
  
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<p> Jesus recognized unfruitfulness and He took action to remove it. Every one of us (unlike Jesus) has an unfruitful aspect in our own life. We too can be bold like Jesus, in that when we see unfruitfulness we can declare it as unacceptable to God and recognize it as a cursed item, not a blessing. In cursing it, curse it at its root so that it will immediately wither and dry up no longer sustaining an appearance of being potentially fruitful but being what it truly is, something that does not give pleasure to God.</p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<blockquote><p>Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.</p>
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</blockquote>
  
  
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===Monday===
  
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April 10, 2017
  
  
<h2>March 4</h2>
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'''The Pharisees dispute the authority of Jesus &amp; the Mt. Olivet discourse is given'''
  
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Mark 11:20-22 ''And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God [Jesus].''
  
  
<h3>Mephibosheth's Errors</h3>
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Mark 13:1-4 ''And as He went out of the Temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto Him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And ***as He sat upon the Mount of Olives over against the Temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, Tell us, when shall these [Kingdom] things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?''
  
   
 
<h4>Mephibosheth's Errors are the Same Errors that we Christians Repeat Today</h4>
 
  
<p><b>Unfamiliar with the Bible</b></p>
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====Personal Reflection #4====
  
<p>Mephibosheth sat at the table of King David who was known as The Sweet Psalmist of Israel, King David going back to his days as a boy shepherd wrote almost the entirety of the Book of Psalms. Yet, Mephibosheth though he sat at King David's table he didn't seem to be familiar with any of King David's written words. Mephibosheth was a stranger and an exile to the written Words of God, the Bible.</p>
+
Our Ministry of Reconciliation
  
<p><b>A Lack of a Healthy Prayer Life</b></p>
+
<p>What is our part in Reconciliation? Jesus came to Reconcile. The very Ministry of Jesus is Reconciliation, reconciling man back into a relationship with God and also reconciling us humans into a relationship with one another.</p>
  
<p>Mephibosheth didn't have a healthy prayer life or possibly any prayer life. A good prayer life reveals that we are more than just worthless servants to God, we are in fact cherished Sons and Daughters of God.</p>
+
<blockquote><p>2 Corinthians 5:18,19 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us (Christians) to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the Ministry of Reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.</p></blockquote>
  
<p><b>The Missing Fellowship</b></p>
+
<p>*The word reconciliation is called the Gospel, the "Good News" of our Life in Jesus as opposed to the sour fact of our death in this earthly world.</p>
  
<p>It is recorded in the Bible that Mephibosheth ate regularly at the table of the King but it isn't recorded that there was actually any fellowship between Mephibosheth and King David, in fact the two men seemed to be complete strangers, totally unknown to each other.</p>
+
<p>The ministry of Jesus is the embodiment of the Cross that Jesus would be crucified on as on the cross Jesus is lifted up - suspended, between Heaven (the dwelling of God) and Earth (the dwelling of man). The vertical post of the cross represents reconciliation between God and Man while at the same time the outstretched - reaching out arms of Jesus and the horizontal beam of the cross represent the reconciliation of one to another. Reconciliation is accomplished only in and by Jesus. There is no other hope for mankind but in Jesus, His Cross and His Resurrection.</p>
  
<p><b>A lack of Servant Service</b></p>
 
  
<p>Mephibosheth had designated himself to be a servant yet he was a servant that seldom if ever served.</p>
+
===Tuesday===
  
<p><b>A lack of a Proclamation - Evangelism</b></p>
+
April 11, 2017
  
<p>Mephibosheth maintained such an impartial stance that in the end King David really didn't know what Kingdom Mephibosheth stood for or was a part of whether it was Saul's Kingdom or David's Kingdom.</p>
 
  
<p><b>A lack of Discernment - Spiritual Warfare</b></p>
+
'''Judas agrees to betray Jesus'''
  
<p>Mephibosheth was being misrepresented and taken advantage of by his deceitful servant Ziba yet Mephibosheth was so lacking in discernment and spiritual warfare abilities that in the end he was completely taken advantage of by Ziba.</p>
 
  
 +
<p>Matthew 26:14-16 <i>Then one of the Twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.</i></p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
<p>As we awake Tuesday morning we will not go to Jerusalem and the Temple as Jesus had departed the Temple for the last time on Monday. Instead, today we will go with Jesus to Bethany and enter the house of Simon, a leper whom Jesus has previously cured. A woman will anoint Jesus with more oil. Judas will depart to meet with the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus. Judas will receive the promise of thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:2, Matthew 26:15) for promising to deliver Jesus into the hands of the Jewish leaders.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Then one of the Twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the Chief Priests [Annas and Caiaphas], And said unto them, What will all of you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. ~ Matthew 26:14-16</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<p><b>Satanic Signatures in Judas' Betrayal</b></p>
  
 +
<p>There are indications and 'Satanic Signatures' i.e. betraying Jesus on the 13th of Nisan that indicate that Judas Iscariot was never a Disciple and that he had purposely infiltrated the Disciples of Jesus with the sole intention of betraying Jesus.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you Twelve (Disciples - Apostle), and <u>one of you is a devil</u>? He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the Twelve. ~ John 6:70</p></blockquote>
  
<h2>March 5</h2>
+
<blockquote><p>... and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. ~ Luke 6:16</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Then says one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray Him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because <u>he was a thief</u>, and had the bag, and bare [carried the money] what was put therein. ~ John 12:4-6</p></blockquote>
  
  
<h3>The Sweet Psalmist of Israel</h3>
+
====Personal Reflection #5====
  
   
+
Fellowship with the One Who has Cleansed Us
<h4>King David - The Sweet Psalmist of Israel</h4>
 
  
<p>The first area of the Christian Walk that we are going look at is the area of Bible knowledge and study.</p>
+
<p>Jesus has returned to spend time with Simon a Leper whom Jesus had previously cleansed. How is it that Jesus would want to visit someone that was previously Unclean? How is it that Simon would trust Jesus? Usually when someone has knowledge of the unclean areas of our life we want to get away from them because we are vulnerable and do not want to be exposed by them for what we were or for what we truly are. Yet Simon welcomed Jesus into his own home and prepared for Him a meal. All throughout the Bible we read how hurting and longing and suffering people have turned to God and have found compassion and healing and like Simon, we too have the privilege of hosting Jesus, the one who has healed us.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me (Jesus), all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your Souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.</p></blockquote>
  
<blockquote><p>Now these be the last words of [King] David. David the son of Jesse said, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and <b>The Sweet Psalmist of Israel</b>, said, <u>The Spirit of the LORD spoke by me, and His Word was in my tongue</u>. The God of Israel said, the Rock [Jesus] of Israel spoke to me, He that rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be as the [resurrection] light of the morning, when the sun rises, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain. Although my house be not so [not in a good order] with God; yet He has made with me an Everlasting Covenant [the Messiah would be a descendant - the Messiah would rule from his Throne], ordered in all things, and sure: for this is all my salvation, and all my desire, although he make it not to grow [it wouldn't happen in the lifetime of King David]. But the sons of Belial shall be all of them as thorns thrust away, because they cannot be taken with hands: But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron and the staff of a spear; and they shall be utterly burned with fire in the same place. ~ 2 Samuel 23:1-7</p></blockquote>
 
  
<p>Mephibosheth was in a unique position in that he lived and associated with some of the very people who wrote parts of the Bible. Mephibosheth didn't have any of the textual criticism or authentication problems that some people have today. Yet, the ability to read the Psalms from the pen of King David or more likely to hear the Psalms spoken from the lips of King David didn't inspire Mephibosheth to become Biblically informed. Today some people claim that Oh if we just had the original texts from the hands of Moses, Samuel, King David, King Solomon, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, etc. then how easy it would be to read the Bible but history has proven that isn't the case and in actuality people are being saved without the Bible and people with the Bible are perishing.</p>
+
===Wednesday===
  
<p>Mephibosheth lived in the presence and sat at the table with King David. Mephibosheth is also mentioned in the Bible and so are many of his family members, his father Jonathan and his Grandfather King Saul yet Mephibosheth was mostly unfamiliar with the national context of the Nation of Israel and the role that he and his family had in the Divine ordination of Israel.</p>
+
April 12, 2017
  
<p><b>Conclusion:</b> because of the importance and significance of the Bible in the Christian Walk we are going to take an extended look at the history of the Bible and how the Bible that we have and trust today came into being. In examining the history of the Bible it is our intention that we will be able to recognize the Divine ordination of the Bible scriptures and to discern our part in God's ordained plan for all of mankind.</p>
 
  
 +
'''The New Covenant of Jesus. God agrees to die for our sins; therefore death has "Passed us Over." The Feast of the Lord's Passover is fulfilled'''
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
Matthew 26:17-20 ''Now the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread [Passover] the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? And He said, Go into the city [Jerusalem] to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve.''
  
  
 +
====Personal Reflection #6====
  
 +
New Covenant Reflection
  
 +
<p>The New Covenant - God has agreed to take on the appearance of a Human, to come for us and to die in our place for our sins so that we can Live anew in a new Spiritual relationship with God. God in His Love for us has taken our penalty of death so that we can live in His life of love. With the New Covenant and our New Spiritual Life "All things have become New".</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold All things are become New.</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<p>Are we allowing ourselves to live in our newfound Relationship with God and are we allowing ourselves the New Freedom that this relationship has to offer? When Jesus took His Communion cup and offered it to His followers Jesus gave with it the instruction and the invitation to "Drink all of it". Amen - and drink all of it we will.</p>
  
<h2>March 6</h2>
 
  
 +
===Thursday===
  
 +
April 13, 2017
  
<h3>Masoretic Text</h3>
 
  
   
+
'''Crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross, providing removal of our sins, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is fulfilled'''
<h4>Masoretic Text - Old Testament</h4>
 
  
<p>The Masoretic Text (MT) is the authoritative Hebrew text of the Jewish Bible. While the Masoretic Text defines the books of the Jewish canon, it also defines the precise letter-text of these biblical books, with their vocalization and accentuation known as the Masorah.</p>
+
Matthew 27:1-2 ''When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death: And when they had bound Him, they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the Governor.''
  
<p>The <b>MT is widely used as the basis for translations of the Old Testament in Protestant Bibles</b>, and in recent years (since 1943) also for some Catholic Bibles, although the Eastern Orthodox churches continue to use the Septuagint, as they hold it to be divinely inspired. In modern times the Dead Sea Scrolls have shown the MT to be nearly identical to some texts of the Tanakh [Jewish Bible - Christian Old Testament] dating from 200 BC but different from others.</p>
 
  
<p>The MT was primarily copied, edited and distributed by a group of Jews known as the Masoretes between the 7th and 10th centuries AD. Though the consonants differ little from the text generally accepted in the early 2nd century (and also differ little from some Qumran texts that are even older), it has numerous differences of both greater and lesser significance when compared to (extant 4th century BC) manuscripts of the Septuagint, a Greek translation (made in the 3rd to 2nd centuries BC) of the Hebrew Scriptures that was in popular use in Egypt and Israel (and that is [allegedly] often quoted in the New Testament, especially by the Apostle Paul).</p>
+
====Personal Reflection #7====
  
<p>The Hebrew word mesorah reffers to the transmission of a tradition. In a very broad sense it can refer to the entire chain of Jewish tradition (see Oral law), but in reference to the Masoretic Text the word mesorah has a very specific meaning: the diacritic markings of the text of the Hebrew Bible and concise marginal notes in manuscripts (and later printings) of the Hebrew Bible which note textual details, usually about the precise spelling of words.</p>
+
The Cross - A Place of No Compromise
  
<p>The oldest extant manuscripts of the Masoretic Text date from approximately the 9th century CE, and the Aleppo Codex (once the oldest complete copy of the Masoretic Text, but now missing its Torah section) dates from the 10th century.</p>
+
<p> Jesus reached out to us - all the way and without compromise. He didn't compromise as He took on the appearance of a human and entered into our physical realm so that He could interact with us on our level. He entered into our physical level because we are separated from the Holy God on His Spiritual level. We are separated from Him by our sins and it is impossible for God to bring us and the sin that accompanies us into His direct presence, so God in Jesus, came to us in our existence.</p>
  
<p>The Talmud (and also Karaite mss.) states that a standard copy of the Hebrew Bible was kept in the court of the Temple in Jerusalem for the benefit of copyists; there were paid correctors of Biblical books among the officers of the Temple (Talmud, tractate Ketubot 106a). This copy is mentioned in the Aristeas Letter (§ 30; comp. Blau, Studien zum Althebr. Buchwesen, p. 100); in the statements of Philo (preamble to his "Analysis of the Political Constitution of the Jews") and in Josephus (Contra Ap. i. 8).</p>
+
<p>In reaching out to us Jesus didn't compromise. He reached out with both arms open and fully extended all the way, even to the cross. Mankind in return didn't compromise as mankind rejected God. Mankind then reaching back with a hammer, nailed both of His open and extended arms onto a wooden cross.</p>
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
+
<p>Today it is still our opportunity and our turn to reach out and touch Jesus even though we do not see Him as He is in the Spirit realm like we see one another in the physical realm. We can still come to that place of no compromise and touch Jesus in that no compromising place called faith.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must
 +
believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.</p></blockquote>
  
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
===Friday===
  
 +
April 14, 2017
  
  
 +
'''The tomb of Jesus is sealed by the Romans, spices and ointments are purchased and prepared to further anoint the body of Jesus'''
  
 +
Matthew 27:62-66 ''Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation [for the Feast of Unleavened Bread], the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch [guards]: go your way, make it as sure [secure] as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure [inventory of the tomb contents], sealing the stone, and setting a watch.''
  
  
 +
====Personal Reflection #8====
  
<h2>March 7</h2>
+
Man Puts his Seal of Approval on God's Death
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure [inventory of the tomb contents], sealing the stone, and setting a watch.</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<p>With the death of Jesus comes the Seal of Approval from mankind. You can be certain that Jesus died on the cross and you can be just as certain that the dead body of Jesus was in the tomb on this the next day when the tomb was closed and the seal was placed on it. Certain because mankind would have it no other way than that God, would be declared dead, null, and void.
 +
</p>
  
<h3>Septuagint LXX Text</h3>
+
<p>Oh they sealed the right tomb of death alright but they sealed the wrong object. What they should have placed their seal on is on the death of sin, the sin that has separated mankind from the Holy God for all of these years as God knows and as the Christian knows it is sin that has been declared dead, null, and void and not God.</p>
  
   
+
<p>As we reflect on the death of sin, that the penalty for sin has been removed from us by Jesus, do we really understand that the worst that can possibly happen to us is death from sin? But that Jesus died for us so the worst thing that can happen to us has happened to Jesus as He took our penalty for us. Now with the worst behind us thanks to Jesus, we now have the best and a new opportunity as a new relationship with God is now before us.</p>
<h4>Septuagint LXX Text - Old Testament</h4>
 
  
<p>The Septuagint, from the Latin word septuaginta (meaning seventy), is a translation of the Hebrew Bible and some related texts into Koine Greek. The title and its Roman numeral acronym "LXX" refer to the legendary seventy Jewish scholars who completed the translation as early as the late 2nd century BC. As the primary Greek translation of the Old Testament, it is also called the "Greek Old Testament". This translation is quoted in the New Testament, particularly in the writings of Paul the Apostle, and also by the Apostolic Fathers and later Greek Church Fathers.</p>
+
<blockquote><p>Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.</p></blockquote>
  
<p>The traditional story is that Ptolemy II sponsored the translation for use by the many Alexandrian Jews who were not fluent in Hebrew but fluent in Koine Greek, which was the lingua franca of Alexandria, Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean from the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC until the development of Byzantine Greek around 600 AD.</p>
 
  
<p>The Septuagint should not be confused with the seven or more other Greek versions of the Old Testament, most of which did not survive except as fragments (some parts of these being known from Origen's Hexapla, a comparison of six translations in adjacent columns, now almost wholly lost). Of these, the most important are "the three:" those by Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion.</p>
+
===Saturday===
  
<p>When Jerome [347 AD - September 30, 420 AD] undertook the revision of the Old Latin translations of the Septuagint, he checked the Septuagint against the Hebrew texts that were then available. He broke with church tradition and translated most of the Old Testament of his [Latin] Vulgate from Hebrew rather than Greek. His choice was severely criticized by Augustine, his contemporary; a flood of still less moderate criticism came from those who regarded Jerome as a forger. While on the one hand he argued for the superiority of the Hebrew texts in correcting the Septuagint on both philological and theological grounds, on the other, in the context of accusations of heresy against him, Jerome would acknowledge the Septuagint texts as well. With the passage of time, acceptance of Jerome's version gradually increased until it displaced the Old Latin translations of the Septuagint.</p>
+
April 15, 2017
  
<p>The Eastern Orthodox Church still prefers to use the LXX as the basis for translating the Old Testament into other languages.</p>
+
'''The tomb of Jesus remains sealed, Sabbath day'''
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
+
Luke 23:52-24:1 ''[Thursday][Crucifixion day] This man, Joseph of Arimathaea, went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down [from the cross] and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher (tomb) that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation [preparation for the evening Sabbath of Unleavened Bread], and the Sabbath [Unleavened Bread, evening Sabbath curfew] drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld (observed) the sepulcher, and how His body was laid. And they returned (home) and [Friday] [normal Day] prepared (worked & labored) spices and ointments; and **rested the [Saturday][Sabbath Day] Sabbath day according to the commandment [the 4th of the 10 commandments, the weekly Saturday Sabbath]. Now upon the first day of the week [Sunday][Resurrection Day], very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.''
  
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
====Personal Reflection #9====
  
 +
Getting Through the Darkness
  
 +
<p>It's dark in there; it's a dark and lonely place in those deep dark tombs. Death is dark, and it's dark when we look death in the face. Will the light shine? Will there be life? Will life live and conquer the darkness; the loneliness, the despair, the finality of death? We as humans have to know. We have to know if there is any hope, any permanent existence, any purpose, any reason to life and our existence or if our brief existence here on earth is only a byproduct of some random collision of molecules. Only God - Jesus can answer this question for us and it can only be answered in the Resurrection Life of Jesus as only life can hold the answers to the problems that face mankind.</p>
  
 +
<p>God has given to us, a long time ago, the answer and His promise in each new day.</p>
  
 +
<p>In the beginning of creation God created the Physical Light. He created light as a representation for us to see that indeed His true Spirit light of life shines and it does indeed remove the darkness of death. Every time life gets dark just remember the New Day the Sunrise the Resurrection Sunshine from on high as the Sun represents to us the True Son Light, Jesus. God made it that way! The Sun is our daily and momentary reminder of God, of His Son Jesus, of His light, His warmth, His promises, His Life, His Love and His Eternal Resurrection Life for us.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall in my mind, therefore I have hope. It is the Lord's Mercies that we are not consumed, because His Compassions fail not. They are new every morning: Great is Thy Faithfulness.</p></blockquote>
  
  
<h2>March 8</h2>
+
===Easter Sunday===
  
 +
April 16, 2017
  
 +
'''The Resurrection of Jesus, the Feast of First Fruits is fulfilled as Jesus gives the First Fruits of the Holy Spirit to His disciples'''
  
<h3>Rosetta Stone</h3>
+
Matthew 28:1 ''In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.''
  
   
 
<h4>Rosetta Stone - Egypt - Ancient Archeology</h4>
 
  
<p>Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic script [a regional trade language], and Ancient Greek.</p>
+
====Personal Reflection #10====
  
<p>The Rosetta Stone is an ancient Egyptian granodiorite stele inscribed with a decree issued at Memphis [Egypt] in 196 BC on behalf of [Greek King] King Ptolemy V. The decree appears in three scripts: the upper text is Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, the middle portion Demotic script, and the lowest Ancient Greek. Because it presents essentially the same text in all three scripts (with some minor differences among them), it provided the key to the modern understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphs.</p>
+
"The Re-birth of Life"
  
<p>On Napoleon's 1798 campaign in Egypt, the expeditionary army was accompanied by the Commission des Sciences et des Arts, a corps of 167 technical experts (savants). On July 15, 1799, as French soldiers under the command of Colonel d'Hautpoul were strengthening the defences of Fort Julien, a couple of miles north-east of the Egyptian port city of Rosetta (Modern day Rashid), Lieutenant Pierre-François Bouchard spotted a slab with inscriptions on one side that the soldiers had uncovered. He and d'Hautpoul saw at once that it might be important and informed general Jacques-François Menou, who happened to be at Rosetta. The find was announced to Napoleon's newly founded scientific association in Cairo, the Institut d'Égypte, in a report by Commission member Michel Ange Lancret noting that it contained three inscriptions, the first in hieroglyphs and the third in Greek, and rightly suggesting that the three inscriptions would be versions of the same text. Lancret's report, dated July 19, 1799, was read to a meeting of the Institute soon after July 25. Bouchard, meanwhile, transported the stone to Cairo for examination by scholars. Napoleon himself inspected what had already begun to be called la Pierre de Rosette, the Rosetta Stone, shortly before his return to France in August 1799.</p>
+
<p>Jesus demonstrates His Authority of Life over death.</p>
  
<p>After Napoleon's departure, French troops held off British and Ottoman attacks for a further 18 months. In March 1801, the British landed at Aboukir Bay. General Jacques-François Menou, who had been one of the first to see the stone in 1799, was now in command of the French expedition. His troops, including the Commission, marched north towards the Mediterranean coast to meet the enemy, transporting the stone along with other antiquities of all kinds. Defeated in battle, Menou and the remnant of his army retreated to Alexandria [Egypt] where they were surrounded and besieged, the stone now inside the city. He admitted defeat and surrendered on August 30, 1801 AD.</p>
+
<p>Life, our meaning and purpose in it have now been answered once and for all in this the very Resurrection Life of Jesus. We now know that there is a God, that He has power to remove sins and to then give life over death, that He Loves us and that we are made alive to be friends with Him forever in His Eternal Resurrection Kingdom of Heaven.</p>
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
+
<p>How can we ever comprehend this joyous event, Life in Jesus, but comprehend it we must as it is the only way to eternal Life.</p>
  
<p><b>Note:</b> it is important to note that the Aramaic language often touted as being important, influential and widely used in ancient Mesopotamia is not even included on the Rosetta Stone (196 BC) instead the ancient trade language of Demotic script is considered to be regionally more important and is used as the second language on the Rosetta Stone.</p>
+
<p><blockquote>Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.</blockquote></p>
  
 +
<p>Light shines! And with it Life! Jesus is the True Light! Jesus is the Life! God is not dead, God is Alive! Now we too are alive when Jesus breaths His Resurrection Spirit Life into us. Alive and united with the Holy God inside of us, that is Eternal Life!</p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
<blockquote><p>John 1:3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not.</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>2 Corinthians 4:6 For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus.</p></blockquote>
  
  
 +
==Conclusions==
  
 +
<p>Final thoughts about the Ministry, the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.</p>
  
 +
<p>After spending ten glorious days with Jesus, we can see that Jesus came to fulfill His plan and in doing so He acted deliberately and decisively. Jesus has a plan and a purpose for mankind and Jesus came to fulfill His plan and is continuing His purpose. Jesus did not meander around like a lost wondering poet nor did He allow the events and passions of the day to dictate His schedule but He remained true and accomplished "All that He came to do." Jesus is God with full knowledge of mankind and of all events.</p>
 +
 
 +
<p>As we reflect on our visit with Jesus Christ and the disciples, remembering our gaze at the sight of Jesus on the cross and the astonishment of the empty tomb and our joy in meeting the resurrected Savior Jesus Christ, we realize that the Gospel is larger than life and that certainly the Gospel is larger than death. We also realize that the Gospel is much bloodier and even more holy than we can currently comprehend. We do realize that we have a God that loves us very much.  We begin to see that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus from death to life is more glorious and more stunning than anything we can currently understand yet we also realize that in Jesus Christ mankind has a chance, a lifelong opportunity to receive an eternity in heaven that is secure, fulfilling and everlasting.</p>
  
  
<h2>March 9</h2>
+
Source: [http://basicchristian.org/frame_jesuswalk.html The Jesus Walk 10 Day Holy Week Timeline Devotion]
  
  
 +
==Leadership Articles==
  
<h3>Dead Sea Scrolls</h3>
+
A 5 part Holy Week Leadership Article Series based on the Jesus Walk Timeline Devotion - Presented at iExalt.com from April 2004 to May 2004
  
   
 
<h4>Dead Sea Scrolls</h4>
 
  
<p>The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts discovered between 1946 AD and 1956 AD at Khirbet Qumran in the West Bank [of ancient Israel]. They were found in caves about a mile inland from the northwest shore of the Dead Sea, from which they derive their name. The texts are of great historical, religious, and linguistic significance because they include the earliest known surviving manuscripts of works later included in the Hebrew [Old Testament] Bible canon, along with extra-biblical manuscripts which preserve evidence of the diversity of religious thought in late Second Temple Judaism.</p>
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<p><h3>Article #1</h3></p>
  
<p>The Dead Sea Scrolls include entire books of the Old Testament including the famous Isaiah scroll and it has fragments from every book of the Old Testament except from the Book of Esther.</p>
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iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #1 April 4, 2004
  
<p>Due to the poor condition of some of the Scrolls, not all of them have been identified. Those that have been identified can be divided into three general groups: (1) some 40% of them are copies of texts from the Hebrew Bible, (2) approximately another 30% of them are texts from the Second Temple Period [Herod's Temple] and which ultimately were not canonized in the Hebrew Bible, like the Book of Enoch, Jubilees, the Book of Tobit, the Wisdom of Sirach, Psalms 152-155, etc., and (3) the remaining roughly 30% of them are sectarian manuscripts of previously unknown documents that shed light on the rules and beliefs of a particular [cult] group or groups within greater Judaism, like the Community Rule, the War Scroll, the Pesher on Habakkuk and The Rule of the Blessing.</p>
 
  
<p>There has been much debate about the origin of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The dominant theory remains that the scrolls were the product of a sect of Jews living at nearby Qumran called the Essenes, but this theory has come to be challenged by several modern scholars.</p>
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<p><b>The Passion of Leadership</b> (part 1 of 5)<br />
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by David Anson Brown</p>
  
<p><b>Qumran-Essene Theory</b></p>
 
  
<p>The view among scholars, almost universally held until the 1990s, is the "Qumran-Essene" hypothesis originally posited by Roland Guérin de Vaux and Józef Tadeusz Milik, though independently both Eliezer Sukenik and Butrus Sowmy of St Mark's Monastery connected scrolls with the Essenes well before any excavations at Qumran. The Qumran-Essene theory holds that the scrolls were written by the Essenes, or by another Jewish sectarian group, residing at Khirbet Qumran. They composed the scrolls and ultimately hid them in the nearby caves during the Jewish Revolt sometime between 66 and 68 AD. The site of Qumran was destroyed and the scrolls never recovered.</p>
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<blockquote><p>Luke 12:49,50 I (Jesus) am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!</p></blockquote>
  
<p>A number of arguments are used to support this theory.</p>
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<p>Jesus has a Passion for leadership and for His leaders. The Old Testament foretold of God's zeal concerning the fulfillment of His plan for mankind.</p>
  
<p>There are striking similarities between the description of an initiation ceremony of new members in the Community Rule and descriptions of the Essene initiation ceremony mentioned in the works of Flavius Josephus - a Jewish-Roman historian of the Second Temple Period.</p>
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<blockquote><p>Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. </p></blockquote>
  
<p>Josephus mentions the Essenes as sharing property among the members of the community, as does the Community Rule.</p>
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<p>The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this ... </p>
  
<p>During the excavation of Khirbet Qumran, two inkwells and plastered elements thought to be tables were found, offering evidence that some form of writing was done there. More inkwells were discovered nearby.</p>
 
  
<p>De Vaux called this area the "scriptorium" based upon this discovery.</p>
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<p>As we all know it is not enough to just have Passion for leadership. Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Herod and Judas each had a Passion for leadership but as they went on to demonstrate, Passion without knowledge can easily be misdirected and when misapplied to the leadership role the results can be disastrous.</p>
  
<p>Several Jewish ritual baths (Hebrew: miqvah) were discovered at Qumran, which offers evidence of an observant Jewish presence at the site.</p>
 
  
<p>Pliny the Elder (a geographer writing after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 AD) describes a group of Essenes living in a desert community on the northwest shore of the Dead Sea near the ruined town of 'Ein Gedi.</p>
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<p>What then is our safety net for the much needed Passions of leadership?</p>
  
<p>The Qumran-Essene theory has been the dominant theory since its initial proposal by Roland de Vaux and J.T. Milik. Recently, however, several other scholars have proposed alternative origins of the scrolls.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
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<p>Jesus is the anchor of the leadership soul. Jesus has to be the Passion for our leadership for it is only Jesus who has the knowledge and the understanding of mankind and He knows the fullness of His own plan for salvation, therefore Jesus is the only safety net to the Passions of leadership.</p>
  
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<blockquote><p>John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?</p></blockquote>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Whom seek we? ... </p>
  
  
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<p>Whom does our Passion dictate that we should seek after? Unless our Passion dictates that we seek Jesus than like Herod or like Judas we are setting ourselves up for disaster.</p>
  
  
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<p>Leadership by definition involves moving people along through one event and circumstance and into another. Good leadership is going to substantiate good results of growth, maturity and endurance encompassing all of the individuals throughout all of the events and circumstances involved.</p>
  
<h2>March 10</h2>
 
  
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<p>Because of the rapid succession of the Passion events of Jesus during the Holy week the question could be asked did Jesus get swept up and caught up in a series of events that were bigger than He is or did Jesus in His role of leadership use the series of events to instruct and guide each of us along through our own betrayals, trials and circumstances to bring us into His everlasting resurrection life.</p>
  
  
<h3>Christian New Testament Bible</h3>
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<p>With so much written in each of the Bible's four Gospels about the Passion events of Holy Week the events themselves clearly come into focus as a chain, a series of meaningful connected links connected to establish and fulfill the meaningful events foretold by the Holy Prophets of old. Events that would forever alter the face of history and the destiny of mankind. Clearly these are not just a series of random circumstances but the deliberate and ordained plan of God Himself. </p>
  
   
 
<h4>The Christian New Testament Bible Scriptures</h4>
 
  
<p>The Christian New Testament Bible as we have it today comes essentially from two text manuscript families.</p>
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<p>The Passion is a study in the leadership of Jesus Christ as He and the disciples go through one event after another and in the case of the disciples sometimes it is triumph and sometimes it is not a triumph but a momentary failure and regardless of victory or defeat each event is a learning experience for the disciples.</p>
  
  
<p><b>The Textus Receptus (TR) Text Family - KJV</b></p>
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<p>In our own Passion to follow Jesus and to learn from Him, as disciples of Jesus, let's go back with Jesus and the original disciples to revisit and re-live the last week that Jesus spent on earth. This week is also referred to as "Holy Week." The 10 days will be Friday through the next Sunday. To examine the last week we will have to piece together many items and statements from throughout the Bible. As we go back to the original Holy Week, we will travel like students and detectives, searching the scriptures for events and clues that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. We will in actuality be students and detectives of Jesus, searching out Who He is and what His ministry came to accomplish here on earth.</p>
  
<p>The Textus Receptus is from the Byzantine Empire previously called Galatia.</p>
 
  
<p><b>The Egyptian Text Family - Modern Versions</b></p>
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<p>The Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> devotion. </p>
  
<p>Codex Alexandrinus - translated into the Latin Vulgate by Jerome<br />
 
Alexandria, Egypt</p>
 
  
<p>Codex Sinaiticus - a close match to the Codex Vaticanus<br />
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<p>Next week: <i>Lessons in Leadership from the Fig Tree</i> part 2 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.</p>
St. Catherine's Monastery in Mount Sinai, Egypt</p>
 
  
  
<p><b>Note:</b> even though the Christian Church since the Middle Ages has had the two primary Manuscript families both manuscript families up until the Douay-Rheims Bible translation of 1899 AD, in both the Greek and English version manuscripts were nearly identical matching in about 98.9% of the entire texts. Since 1899 AD with the numerous revisions particularly in the English editions the newer translations only match the previous Greek and English editions somewhere in the neighborhood of 80% to 60% depending on whether considering just the words or also adding the verses as a whole that are effected by the revisions.</p>
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<p>God Bless you,<br />
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David Anson Brown</p>
  
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p><h3>Article #2</h3></p>
  
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iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #2 April 11, 2004
  
  
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<p><b>Lessons from the Fig Tree</b> (part 2 of 5)<br />
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by David Anson Brown</p>
  
  
<h2>March 11</h2>
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<p>Leadership requires the Passion to get to the root of the matter ...</p>
  
  
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<p>In our journey with Jesus and the rest of the disciples during the Bible's original Holy Week - Passion events we find that on the very next day after the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that Jesus and the disciples encounter a fig tree that is not capable of producing fruit for God. Finding no fruit, Jesus will then curse the fig tree.</p>
  
<h3>The Textus Receptus</h3>
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<blockquote><p>Matthew 21:18-20 Now in the morning as He (Jesus) returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!</p></blockquote>
  
   
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<p>Jesus' leadership at the fig tree reveals that leadership is not just a surface matter, but in regarding problems Jesus is depicting for us that the correct action is not to merely prune a few branches and then let the problem still exist or to try to make it easier to look at and more appealing, but that leadership involves getting down into the root of the problem and then cutting it off at the root for a total removal of the problem.</p>
<h4>The Textus Receptus (TR) Byzantine Text Family</h4>
 
  
<p>The Textus Receptus is the text that has been used for 2,000 years by Christians. This is also the text that agrees with more than 95% of the Bible Manuscripts in Koine (common) Greek.  It is known by other names, such as the Traditional Text, Majority Text, Byzantine Text, or Syrian Text.</p>
 
  
<p>In his essay Texual Criticism, Dr. Thomas Cassidy writes: "The Traditional text of the New Testament has existed from the time of Christ right down to the present. It has had many different names down through the years, such as Byzantine Text, Eastern Text, Received Text, Textus Receptus, Majority Text, and others. Although no complete Bible manuscripts have survived which would allow us to date the Traditional text to the first century, there is a strong witness to the early existence and use of the Traditional text by the early church in its lectionaries."</p>
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<p>Good leadership knows that with a total removal of the burden comes the total freedom of relief from the problem. Good leadership knows that to totally remove the burden, it is the root of the problem that has to be discovered and cut off. But, what not even our good leadership knows is the depths of the root of the problem.</p>
  
<p>In his excellent book, Truth Triumphant: The Church in the Wilderness, Benjamin Wilkinson writes, "The Protestant denominations are built upon that manuscript of the Greek New Testament sometimes called  Textus Receptus, or the Received Text. It is that  Greek New Testament from which the writings of the Apostles in Greek have been translated into English, German, Dutch and other languages. During the dark ages the  Received Text was practically unknown outside the Greek Church. It was restored to Christendom by the labours of that great scholar Erasmus. It is altogether too little known that the real editor of the Received Text was Lucian. None of Lucian's enemies fails to credit him with this work. Neither Lucian nor Erasmus, but rather the Apostles, wrote the Greek New Testament. However, Lucian's day was an age of apostasy when a flood of depravations was systematically attempting to devastate both the Bible manuscripts and Bible theology. Origen, of the Alexandrian college, made his editions and commentaries of the Bible a secure retreat for all errors, and deformed them with philosophical speculations introducing casuistry and lying. Lucian's unrivalled success in verifying, safeguarding, and transmitting those divine writings left a heritage for which all generations should be thankful."</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: 1611kingjamesbible.com</small></p>
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<p>How deep are the roots of the problem? ...</p>
  
<p>Textus Receptus (Latin: "Received Text") is the name subsequently given to the succession of printed Greek texts of the New Testament which constituted the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale [Tyndale Bible], the King James Version [KJV-AV 1611], and most other Reformation-era New Testament translations throughout Western and Central Europe. The series originated with the first printed Greek New Testament, published in 1516-a work undertaken in Basel by the Dutch Catholic scholar and humanist (i.e. professionalism) Desiderius Erasmus. Detractors criticize it for being based on only some six manuscripts, containing between them not quite the whole of the New Testament. The missing text [the last six verses of Revelation chapter 22] was back-translated from the [Latin] Vulgate. Although based mainly on late manuscripts of the Byzantine text-type, Erasmus' edition differed markedly from the classic form of that text, and included some missing parts back translated from the Latin Vulgate.</p>
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<blockquote><p>Genesis 3:7,8 ... and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.</p></blockquote>
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
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<p>Only Jesus knows the depths of the root of the actual problem.</p>
  
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p>Jesus, with full knowledge is able to fully access the depth of the root of the problem. In the case of the fig tree, the root of the problem of man seeking to hide himself from our loving God extends all the way back to the original sin of mankind and continues on to this day.</p>
  
  
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<p>During our journey with Jesus we stand by looking at the fruitless fig tree in amazement as we realize that this Jesus is the same God that Adam and Eve sinned against in the Garden of Eden. They then used the fig leaves in an attempt to cover up the shame of their own sins instead of acknowledging their sin &amp; looking and turning to God, their loving Father to provide the answers to their problems.</p>
  
  
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<p>Jesus with His cross in view and within days of it is now saying that there are no more self-made, man-made coverings for sin. The covering of sin is to be the blood of Jesus from the cross and not of contraptions derived and stitched together by man.</p>
  
  
<h2>March 12</h2>
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<p>In fact the system of fig tree religion is now cursed by God. Cursed because fig tree religion never did
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produce fruit for God and certainly fig tree religion never did lead to eternity.</p>
  
  
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<p>Jesus as the leader recognized unfruitfulness and He took action to remove it. Everyone one of us (unlike Jesus) has an unfruitful aspect in our own life. Can we be bold like Jesus, and when we see unfruitfulness declare it as unacceptable to God? Can we recognize it as a cursed item and not a blessing? And in cursing it to curse it at its root so that it will immediately wither and dry up, no longer sustaining an appearance of being potentially fruitful but being what it truly is, something that does not give pleasure to God.</p>
  
<h3>The Egyptian Texts</h3>
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<blockquote><p>Matthew 21:20 ... And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!</p></blockquote>
  
   
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<p>During our own individual companionship with Jesus as He reveals problem areas to us in our life and we begin to remove them at the root we too like the disciples will rejoice and say, "How soon is the fig tree withered away!"</p>
<h4>The Egyptian Text Family</h4>
 
  
<p><b>Codex Alexandrinus</b></p>
 
  
<p>The Codex Alexandrinus (London, British Library) is a 5th-century manuscript of the Greek Bible, containing the majority of the Septuagint and the New Testament. It is one of the four Great <u>uncial codices</u> [using only capital letters - i.e. modern forgeries]. Along with the Codex Sinaiticus and the Vaticanus, it is [claimed by modern scholars to be] one of the earliest and most complete manuscripts of the Bible. Wettstein designated it in 1751 AD by [the] letter A, and it was the first manuscript to receive thus a large letter as its designation.</p>
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<p>The Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> devotion.</p>
  
<p>It derives its name from Alexandria [Egypt] where it resided for a number of years before it was brought by the Eastern Orthodox Patriarch Cyril Lucaris from Alexandria to Constantinople. Then it was given to Charles I of England in the 17th century. Until the later purchase of the Codex Sinaiticus, it was the best manuscript of the Greek Bible deposited in Britain. Today, it rests along with Codex Sinaiticus in one of the showcases in the Ritblat Gallery of the British Library. A full photographic reproduction of the New Testament volume (Royal MS 1 D. viii) is available on the British Library's website.</p>
 
  
<p>As the text came from several different traditions, different parts of the codex are not of equal textual value. The text has been edited several times since the 18th century.</p>
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<p><i>Next week Lessons in Leadership from the Gardens of God; Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb in part 3 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.</i></p>
  
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
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<p>God Bless you,<br />
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David Anson Brown</p>
  
<p><b>Codex Sinaiticus</b></p>
 
  
<p>Codex Sinaiticus (London, Brit. Library) or "Sinai Bible" is one of the four great uncial codices, an ancient, handwritten copy of the Greek Bible. The codex is a celebrated historical treasure.</p>
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<p><h3>Article #3</h3></p>
  
<p>The codex is an Alexandrian text-type manuscript written in the 4th century in uncial letters on parchment. Current scholarship considers the Codex Sinaiticus to be one of the best Greek texts of the New Testament, along with that of the Codex Vaticanus. Until the discovery by Tischendorf [Lobegott Friedrich Constantin (von) Tischendorf (January 18, 1815 - December 7, 1874)] of the Sinaiticus text, the Codex Vaticanus was unrivaled.</p>
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iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #3 April 18, 2004
  
<p>The Codex Sinaiticus came to the attention of scholars in the 19th century at the Greek Orthodox Monastery of Mount Sinai, with further material discovered in the 20th and 21st centuries. Although parts of the Codex are scattered across four libraries around the world, most of the manuscript today resides within the British Library. Since its discovery, study of the Codex Sinaiticus has proven to be extremely useful to scholars for critical studies of biblical text.</p>
 
  
<p>Originally, the Codex contained the whole of both Testaments. Approximately half of the Greek Old Testament (or Septuagint) survived, along with a complete New Testament, plus the Epistle of Barnabas, and portions of The Shepherd of Hermas.</p>
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<p><b>The Gardens of God: Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb</b> (part 3 of 5)<br />
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by David Anson Brown</p>
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
  
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<p>During the Passion events of Jesus at the completion of the Last Supper - "The Lord's Passover Feast" and with Jesus now on His way to the infamous Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus begins His Priestly Prayer of intercession for us to the Father. Jesus then commits to His crucifixion and crosses over the brook of Cedron as He proceeds to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden of destiny and betrayal.</p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
  
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<p>Leadership is the ability to recognize and to correlate events into a meaningful pattern; a pattern that can display the lessons that the leadership desires to be taught, the valuable lessons are learned and can then be passed on and distributed to others.</p>
  
  
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<p>The Garden is the ideal place to reveal that God is in control, it was so many years ago that Adam and Eve lost mankind's relationship with God, through their own sin of disobedience, in the original Garden, the Garden of Eden, the Garden of creation.</p>
  
  
<h2>March 13</h2>
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<p>Had Jesus been arrested anywhere but in a garden, say for instance, in the streets or in the upper-room it would be difficult to correlate the events of the Last Supper to the events of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But since God made certain to go to the Garden we can only correlate these two Garden events and the coming event of the resurrection of Jesus from His Garden Tomb. This again reveals the detailed plan of God as He has set it out for us in His Prophetic word, the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.</p>
  
  
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<p>On this Passion night as we journey with Jesus we now know why God has not made the Lord's Passover to be a "Rest - Sabbath Feast" like all of the other Holy Feasts prescribed by God to Moses and written down in <b>Leviticus chapter 23</b> of the Holy Bible. Had the "Lord's Passover Feast" been a rest feast then Jesus and the disciples would have had to remain at home or inside after the feast and could not have legally walked to the Garden of Gethsemane, this Garden of destiny. Had this been a "Sabbath - Rest Feast" it is also very unlikely that the Temple guards would have broken the Sabbath Law themselves to journey to the Garden to arrest Jesus, who after all was only peacefully praying to the Father. This is another powerful demonstration that these events are orchestrated and allowed to happen by God Himself and are not solely the whims of man but instead are completions to the events that were foreseen in the prophetic writings by the prophets of the Old Testament.</p>
  
<h3>Shepherd of Hermas</h3>
 
  
   
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<p>It was God that walked during the cool of the evening with Adam and Eve so long ago in the original Garden, the Garden of Eden and now it is God that is stepping into another Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane. This time through His desire and obedience Jesus will continue to restore back the lost relationship between mankind and God, and this time forever.</p>  
<h4>The Hoax Letter - The Shepherd of Hermas (Satan)</h4>
 
  
<p>Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria [Egypt], addressed this problem on Jan. 7, 367 AD, when he wrote his annual Easter letter to his churches. It was a landmark letter because it contained the same list of 27 books of the New Testament that are found in our Bibles today. So far as we know, Athanasius was the first Christian leader to compile a list of New Testament books exactly as we know them today. -- [Origen (Origen Adamantius 182-254 AD) actually collected and codified the 27 book NT we have today and he preceded Athanasius by over a century.]</p>
 
  
<p>Here are portions of Athanasius' letter, in which he lists the books of the Old and New Testaments that he considered authoritative. ...</p>
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<p>We follow and see that Jesus is separated from His disciples and engaged in prayer to the Father. Jesus asks for the third time for the Father to remove "this cup" <b>Matthew 26:42</b> but there is no other "cup" of redemption available to mankind. Either Jesus gives His life for us, or mankind will never be reunited to God.</p>
  
<p><small>Source: gci.org</small></p>
 
  
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<p>Angels come and minister to Jesus. He arises. Judas can now be seen leading a group of Temple soldiers intent on arresting Jesus. Judas then betrays Jesus with a kiss, <b>Matthew 26:49</b>. Jesus in turn calls Judas "friend" <b>Matthew 26:50</b>. Jesus is arrested, bound with ropes and led off meanwhile all of the disciples abandon Him and flee.</p>
  
<p><b>Pope Gelasius I condemned the book The Shepherd of Hermas around 500 A.D.</b></p>
 
  
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<p>Two Gardens revealing the destiny of all mankind, the Garden of creation, fellowship and beauty, and the Garden of agony, suffering and betrayal. Yet there is a third Garden of God, a third appointment with destiny, the Garden Tomb where Jesus would physically resurrect from death and begin to establish His new Garden Paradise in those His followers the Christian Church.</p>
  
<p>When one examines the statements made by some of the earliest [fringe] Church fathers it is clear that many were of the opinion that The Shepherd was an authoritative work. For example, both Irenaeus (bishop of Lyons in 177 A.D.) and Clement of Alexandria (born 150 A.D.) cite The Shepherd as Scripture. Likewise, Cyprian, born to pagan parents early in the third century but converted to Christianity about 246 A.D., and eventually rose to the position of bishop of Carthage, cites The Shepherd as divine Scripture. Hippolytus of Rome (170-235 A.D.), whom Bruce calls considers as the greatest scholar of his age in the west, quotes The Shepherd in his writings and also The Didache and The Letter of Barnabas. Bruce also observes that Origen (185-254 A.D.) felt that The Shepherd of Hermas, along with The Didache and The Letter of Barnabas, should be considered as Scripture. Nevertheless, it appears that despite Origin's [Origen] initial acceptance of these works as authoritative writings, after he moved to Caesarea and discovered that these books were not accepted as authoritative writings, he apparently exercised greater reserve towards them. With specific regard to Origin's comments on The Shepherd, Schaff explains that he recognised that there were others in the Church who judged the book less favourably than himself.</p>
 
  
<p>Even though The Shepherd [supposedly] enjoyed widespread acceptance as an inspired writing by many in the early Church there were some who not only viewed the book as being 'less favourable' than Origin [Origen] but went as far as being in hostile opposition to it. Unquestionably, the most vocal opponent of The Shepherd in the early Church was Tertullian (160-220 A.D.). On account of his extreme moral convictions, in later life, Tertullian became involved with the strict sect of the Montanists. Consequently, he came to believe the teaching that serious sins after baptism were unforgivable. This belief therefore led Tertullian to charge The Shepherd with being too lax in its approach to repentance and even goes as far as referring to it as the "Shepherd of the adulterers". He designates the book as apocryphal, and rejects it with contempt, as favouring anti- Montanistic opinions. Nevertheless, Crombie observes that in his words of criticism Tertullian unknowingly reveals that it was regarded by many in the Church as Scripture.</p>
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<p>The Gardens of God are an invitation a call from God to mankind to walk with God among His Gardens. To walk among the original Creation Garden of Eden and sometimes journeying into the Garden of agony, rejection and betrayal, but always onward and into the glorious Garden of Resurrection and of Eternal Paradise life.</p>
  
<p>By the fourth century it appears that The Shepherd, along with many other books that had been disputed, was gradually beginning to be separated from the books that would form the New Testament canon. Church historian, Eusebius, bishop of Caesarea from 314 to his death in 339, lists three categories by which to distinguish the various writings in existence in the early Church. These are as follows: Those that are universally acknowledged and without dispute; those that are disputed; and the spurious. For Eusebius, The Shepherd falls without any hesitation into the third category as a work that should be included among other spurious works as The Acts of Paul, The Apocalypse of Peter, The Epistle of Barnabus, and The Teachings of the Apostles. Nevertheless, Eusebius also recognised that while some excluded The Shepherd from the accepted books others still regarded it as quite an important and significant writing especially for those who were in need of instruction in the rudimentary elements of the faith. Furthermore, he also recognises that some of the most ancient of writers refer to it and that it was often publicly read in churches.</p>
 
  
<p>Even though Eusebius placed The Shepherd among the spurious writings it is evident that during his day the book was still enjoying widespread popularity and was still considered by some as having equal, or at the least near equal authority with other New Testament writings. This is illustrated in the Codex Sinaiticus, dated at around the middle of the fourth century, and contains The Shepherd of Hermas and The Epistle of Barnabas at the end of a complete New Testament. Kenyon observes how both books enjoyed almost equal authority with the New Testament for a long period of time (clearly apparent from their inclusion in the Codex Sinaiticus) but were nevertheless eventually excluded from the canon.</p>
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<p>Walking with God does indeed require us to walk along on His path and among the Gardens that He Himself has walked in.</p>
  
<p>In the year 367 AD, in his Easter Letter, Athanasius writes of the books that the church have accepted as having divine canonical status out of a concern to distinguish them from the many apocryphal and non-canonical books that were in circulation. With this concern in mind Athanasius specifically lists the 27 books of the New Testament as alone being authoritative writings which he solemnly warns that no man should add to or take away from. In his letter Athanasius also addresses other popular books that he recognises as writings that the early leaders in the Church encouraged new converts to read for instruction but which should be identified as not belonging to the canon. The Shepherd is mentioned as belonging to this category of books along with other non-canonical writings. Even though in his Easter Letter Athanasius clearly designated The Shepherd as outside the inspired canon he freely quotes from it throughout his writings and letters and even calls it a "...most edifying book..."</p>
 
  
<p>It would seem that Athanasius' words carried considerable significance because by the end of the fourth century and throughout the fifth century The Shepherd loses much of its popularity and respect within the Church. Jerome (about 345- 420 A.D.) categorises The Shepherd, along with other books, as not belonging to the canon; and Schaff observes that Ambrose (339-397 A.D.) and Augustine (354-430 A.D.) simply seem to ignore it. However, it was with the decree of Pope Gelasius I (about 500 A.D.) which condemned the book as apocryphal that The Shepherd apparently fell into entire neglect. This is illustrated by the fact that after its condemnation the Greek text even disappeared for a number of centuries. It was only in the middle of the nineteenth century, when the Greek text of The Shepherd re-emerged unexpectedly that a renewed interest in it was awakened among scholars of early Christianity. Today The Shepherd is no longer given the high esteem with which some of the early Christians considered it but instead it is regarded as a work of antiquarian interest in a similar way to the pictures and sculptures of the catacombs.</p>
+
<p>The Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> devotion.</p>
  
<p>Reasons for the Eventual Exclusion of The Shepherd from the New Testament Canon. Kelly observes that while the broad outline of the New Testament canon was settled by the end of the second century, different localities continued to maintain their different traditions, and some places, such as Alexandria in Origen's time, appear to have been less partial to a set canon than others. It appears that a process gradually came into operation in the early Church whereby such popular books as The Shepherd were eventually separated from the writings that the Church recognised as being truly inspired. Kelly explains this by identifying the main features that eventually came to prevail in distinguishing between the authoritative books and books, such as The Shepherd, that were in due time excluded. It appears that unless a book could be shown to have been written by an apostle, or at least have the authority of an apostle behind it, it was rejected, regardless of how edifying or popular it may have been. Kelly mentions The Shepherd as being among the books that "hovered for a long time on the fringe of the canon, but in the end failed to secure admission" because it lacked the indispensable stamp of apostolic authorship. Some of the books which were later included (Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 Johns, Jude, Revelation) had to wait a considerable time before achieving universal recognition. However, by gradual stages, the Church in both East and West arrived at a common mind as to what writings were truly inspired and those that should be excluded.</p>
 
  
<p>In agreement with the conclusions of Kelly, exclusion from the accepted and inspired books of the New Testament on the grounds that a writing could not be presented as an apostolic work is also seen as recorded in the Muratorian Fragment. Dated at about the end of the second century, the Muratorian Fragment specifically mentions The Shepherd as being a book that was excluded because "it was written very recently, in our times by Hermas while his brother Pius was sitting in the chair [i.e. was bishop] of the city of Rome." Smith observes that by the criteria of The Shepherd being outside the time period of the apostles a very popular an exceptional work was excluded from the canon. Even though the book failed the test of apostolic authorship, it was still not totally discarded at this time for the Fragment further describes that the book was "...worthy to be read [in the Church] but not to be included in the number of prophetic or apostolic writings."</p>
+
<p>Next week The Holy - Passion Week Holy Feasts of God part 4 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.</p>
  
<p>In summery and conclusion it can be said that The Shepherd of Hermas is a book that gives interesting insight into the life of early Christianity in the second century. Although the contents of The Shepherd is certainly not without its theological difficulties this present writer believes, in fairness to the book, that this could be partly due to the fact that Hermas, along with other early Christians were still grappling with many of the finer points of their belief structure, some of which (such as the doctrine of Christ) the Church was still in the process of working out in the fourth century. As to the popularity of The Shepherd there can be no doubt that it was widely accepted among the early Christian congregations, many of whom regarded it as Scripture. Even for those who did not elevate the book to such an esteemed position it was still often referred to throughout their writings and publicly read in the Church. Despite the overall early popularity of the book, by the end of the fourth century, with Athanasius' Easter Letter containing a list of the twenty seven inspired books of the New Testament, and the exclusion of such books as The Shepherd, it appears that the book lost considerable respect. It was not, however, until <b>Pope Gelasius I condemned the book around 500 A.D.</b> that it seemed to fall into entire neglect. It appears that the reason why The Shepherd eventually fell from its celebrated position to one of entire neglect was primarily because it failed the criteria of apostolic authorship.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: spotlightministries.org.uk</small></p>
+
<p>God Bless you,<br />
 +
David Anson Brown</p>
  
  
 +
<p><h3>Article #4</h3></p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #4 April 25, 2004
  
  
 +
<p><b>The Passion of Leadership: Holy Week Feasts of God</b> (part 4 of 5)<br />
 +
by David Anson Brown</p>
  
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Leviticus 23:1-2, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are my Feasts."</p></blockquote>
  
<h2>March 14</h2>
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<p>As we already know Leadership requires both Passion and knowledge the passion to do the job and also the knowledge to accomplish the job correctly. In the case of Christian leadership it is required to have some knowledge of the plan and events of God. Fortunately God has carefully spelled out His plan for us in the Bible.</p>
  
  
 +
<p>With the Passion events of Jesus being the very definition of Leadership, let's take a look at just what some of the events are that Jesus was fulfilling in His deliberate plan of leadership. We can find a list of the plans of God in the Old Testament in <b>Leviticus chapter 23</b>. This is a list of eight Feast or Holy-Event days given directly from God to Moses and prescribed for the followers of God to follow for all eternity.</p>
  
<h3>Origen</h3>
 
  
   
+
<p>Since the Holy Week - Passion events occur on four of the eight Holy Feasts Days and they directly relate to the other four Feasts let's take a look at the Feasts of Holy Week and their fulfillment as Jesus in His leadership role is fulfilling His desired plan for mankind.</p>
<h4>Origen Adamantius - Collected and Compiled the various Christian Epistles resulting in the Established Christian New Testament</h4>
 
  
<p>Origen, or Origen Adamantius (Born: 182 AD, Alexandria, Egypt - Died: 254 AD, Tyre, Lebanon), was a scholar and early Christian theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria, Egypt.</p>
 
  
<p><b>Early Years</b></p>
+
<p>A look at the plan of God given in His Holy Feasts ...</p>
  
<p>Origen was born in Alexandria to Christian parents. He was educated by his father, Leonides of Alexandria, who gave him a standard Hellenistic education, but also had him study the Christian Scriptures. The name of his mother is unknown.</p>
+
<blockquote><p>Leviticus 23:4, "These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."</p></blockquote>
  
<p>In 202 AD, Origen's father was martyred in the outbreak of the persecution during the reign of Septimius Severus. A story reported by Eusebius has it that Origen wished to follow him in martyrdom, but was prevented only by his mother hiding his clothes. The death of Leonides left the family of nine impoverished when their property was confiscated. Origen, however, was taken under the protection of a woman of wealth and standing; but as her household already included a heretic named Paul, the strictly orthodox Origen seems to have remained with her only a short time.</p>
+
<p>These four Holy Feasts are observed in the First Month of the Jewish religious calendar, occurred during the Holy Week - Passion events and correspond to the First Coming of Jesus.</p>
 
<p>Origen allegedly studied under Clement of Alexandria and was influenced by his thought.</p>
 
  
<p>Eusebius, our chief witness to Origen's life, says that in 203 AD Origen revived the Catechetical School of Alexandria where Clement of Alexandria had once taught but had apparently been driven out during the persecution under Severus. Many modern scholars, however, doubt that Clement's school had been an official ecclesiastical institution as Origen's was and thus deny continuity between the two. But the persecution still raged, and the young teacher visited imprisoned Christians, attended the courts, and comforted the condemned, himself preserved from persecution because the persecution was probably limited only to converts to Christianity. His fame and the number of his pupils increased rapidly, so that Bishop Demetrius of Alexandria, made him restrict himself to instruction in Christian doctrine alone.</p>
 
  
<p><b>Conflict with Demetrius and removal to Caesarea, Israel</b></p>
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<p><span class="navy"><b>Feast #1 Sabbath</b></span></p>
  
<p>Demetrius, the bishop of Alexandria, at first supported Origen but later opposed him, disputing his ordination in another diocese (Caesarea Maritima in Palestine). This ecclesiastical turmoil eventually caused Origen to relocate to Caesarea, a move which he characterized as divine deliverance from Egypt akin to that the ancient Hebrews received. About 230, Origen entered on the fateful journey which was to compel him to give up his work at Alexandria and embittered the next years of his life. Sent to Greece on some ecclesiastical mission, he paid a visit to Caesarea, where he was heartily welcomed and was ordained a priest, that no further cause for criticism might be given Demetrius, who had strongly disapproved his preaching before ordination while at Caesarea. But Demetrius, taking this well-meant act as an infringement of his rights, was furious, for not only was Origen under his jurisdiction as bishop of Alexandria, but, if Eastern sources may be believed, Demetrius had been the first to introduce episcopal ordination in Egypt. The metropolitan accordingly convened a synod of bishops and presbyters which banished Origen from Alexandria, while a second synod declared his ordination invalid.</p>
+
<p>Sabbath means a complete Rest including one's spirit, soul and body. This is the kind of rest that can only come from having security and trust in God. This rest can only come from having God as our ultimate leader. This feast day is observed and fulfilled in Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem [Palm Sunday] presenting Himself to the world as the rightful ruler and King of the World.</p>
  
<p>Origen accordingly fled from Alexandria in 231-2 AD, and made his permanent home in Caesarea in Palestine, where his friend Theoctistus was bishop. A series of attacks on him seems to have emanated from Alexandria, whether for his self-castration (a capital crime in Roman law) or for alleged heterodoxy is unknown; but at all events these fulminations were heeded only at Rome, while Palestine, Phoenicia, Arabia, and Achaia paid no attention to them. At Alexandria, Heraclas became head of Origen's school, and shortly afterward, on the death of Demetrius, was consecrated bishop. ...</p>
+
<blockquote><p>Mark 11:10, "Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."</p></blockquote>
  
<p><b>Later Years</b></p>
+
<p>*Note: In the Greek writing of the Bible it is evident that the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was accomplished on a Saturday the Sabbath feast day even though today the day is traditionally celebrated on a Sunday (Palm Sunday).</p>
  
<p>After the death of Maximinus, Origen resumed his life in Caesarea of Palestine. Little is known of the last twenty years of Origen's life. He founded a school where Gregory Thaumaturgus, later bishop of Pontus, was one of the pupils. He preached regularly on Wednesdays and Fridays, and later daily. He taught dialectics, physics, ethics, and metaphysics. He evidently, however, developed an extraordinary literary productivity, broken by occasional journeys; one of which, to Athens during some unknown year, was of sufficient length to allow him time for research.</p>
 
  
<p>After his return from Athens, he succeeded in converting Beryllus, bishop of Bostra, from his adoptionistic (i.e., belief that Jesus was born human and only became divine after his baptism) views to the orthodox faith; yet in these very years (about 240) probably occurred the attacks on Origen's own orthodoxy which compelled him to defend himself in writing to Pope Fabian and many bishops. Neither the source nor the object of these attacks is known, though the latter may have been connected with Novatianism (a strict refusal to accept Christians who had denied their faith under persecution).</p>
+
<p>The next two feasts are both celebrated as the one long eight day feast of Passover. The Lord's Passover (1 day) + Unleavened Bread (7 days) = Passover (8 days).</p>
  
<p>After his conversion of Beryllus, however, his aid was frequently invoked against heresies. Thus, when the doctrine was promulgated in Arabia that the soul died and decayed with the body, being restored to life only at the resurrection (see soul sleep), appeal was made to Origen, who journeyed to Arabia, and successfully battled this doctrine.</p>
 
  
<p>There was second outbreak of the Antonine Plague, which at its height in 251 AD to 266 AD took the lives of 5,000 a day in Rome. This time it was called the Plague of Cyprian. Emperor Decius, believing the plague to be a product of magic, caused by the failure of Christians to recognize him as Divine, began Christian persecutions. This time Origen did not escape the Decian persecution. Eusebius recounted how Origen suffered "bodily tortures and torments under the iron collar and in the dungeon; and how for many days with his feet stretched four spaces in the stocks" Though he did not die while being tortured, he died three years later due to injuries sustained at the age of 69. A later legend, recounted by Jerome and numerous itineraries, places his death and burial at Tyre, but to this little value can be attached.</p>
+
<p><span class="navy"><b>Feast #2 The Lord's Passover</b></span></p>
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
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<p>The Lord's Passover is the covenant feast of God whereby God agreed to step into man's predicament of condemnation and death whereby God would take upon Himself the sins of the world and suffer death in order to bring about death to sin. This feast day was observed and fulfilled as Jesus offers His eternal body and His eternal blood to His followers in His New Covenant of Eternal Life given during the Passover Feast. In fulfillment of this feast death has now "passed over" all of those who have entered into this New Covenant relationship with God.</p>
  
<p><b>Note:</b> the extensive writings and documents that comprised Origen's vast and unique library were donated to a local Church at the passing of Origen. Later Ambrose (337-397 AD) the Bishop of Milan, Italy apparently received a large portion of what remained of Origen's personal library.</p>
+
<blockquote><p>Matthew 26:27-28, "And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament (Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins."</p></blockquote>
  
  
 +
<p><span class="navy"><b>Feast #3 Unleavened Bread</b></span></p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p>The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the removal of sin. Leaven (yeast) is a type of a symbol of sin and to remove the leaven is to remove the sin. This feast was observed and fulfilled on the day that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>1 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Your glorying {about sin} is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."</p></blockquote>
  
  
 +
<p><span class="navy"><b>Feast #4 First Fruits</b></span></p>
  
 +
<p>The Feast of First Fruits according to <b>Leviticus Chapter 23</b> was to be observed on the first Sunday after the Feasts of The Lord's Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread had been observed and yes, you guessed it! This is the very exciting day that Jesus rose from death (Easter day). This feast has begun to be fulfilled as Jesus breaths the First Fruits of the Holy Spirit - Resurrection Life into each of His new followers.</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>John 20:19, "Then the same day (Easter Sunday) at evening, .. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (Spirit)."</p></blockquote>
  
<h2>March 15</h2>
+
<blockquote><p>Romans 8:23, "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our
 +
body."</p></blockquote>
  
  
 +
<p><span class="navy"><b>Feast #5 Pentecost (Fifty)</b></span></p>
  
<h3>Eusebius</h3>
+
<p>Later the Feast of Pentecost would begin as the disciples would again receive of the Holy Spirit this time it will be an actual experiencing of the Holy Spirit as the disciples will individually speak in tongues and observe the flames of fire upon the heads of the other disciples.</p>
  
   
+
<p><blockquote>Acts 2:1-4, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, .."</blockquote></p>
<h4>Eusebius of Caesarea, Israel</h4>
 
  
 +
<p>For a more in depth look at all eight of the feast days please refer to the Jesus Walk 2004 Timeline
 +
Devotion.</p>
  
<p>Eusebius (about 260 - 339/340 AD) was a Roman historian, exegete and Christian polemicist. He became the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine about the year 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon [following in the footsteps of Origen in locating, collecting and categorizing various NT Church epistles] and is regarded as an extremely well learned Christian of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History" he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs.</p>
 
  
<p><b>The First Church History - After the Book of Acts</b></p>
+
<p>The Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> devotion.</p>
  
<p>In his Church History or Ecclesiastical History, Eusebius wrote the first surviving history of the Christian Church as a chronologically-ordered account, based on earlier sources complete from the period of the Apostles to his own epoch. The time scheme correlated the history with the reigns of the Roman Emperors, and the scope was broad. Included were the bishops and other teachers of the Church, Christian relations with the Jews and those deemed heretical, and the Christian martyrs through 324 A.D. Although its accuracy and biases have been questioned, it remains an important source on the early church due to Eusebius's access to materials now lost.</p>
 
  
<p><b>Biblical Textual Criticism</b></p>
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<p>Next week Lessons in Leadership from the Communion Cup part 5 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.</p>
  
<p>[Origen,] Pamphilus and Eusebius occupied themselves with the textual criticism of the Septuagint text of the Old Testament and especially [collected epistles] of the New Testament. An edition of the Septuagint seems to have been already prepared by Origen, which, according to Jerome, was revised and circulated by Eusebius and Pamphilus. For an easier survey of the material of the four Evangelists, Eusebius divided his edition of the New Testament into paragraphs and provided it with a synoptical table so that it might be easier to find the pericopes that belong together. These canon tables or "Eusebian canons" remained in use throughout the Middle Ages, and illuminated [colored artwork] manuscript versions are important for the study of early medieval art, as they are the most elaborately decorated pages of many Gospel books. Eusebius detailed in Epistula ad Carpianum how to use his canons [books].</p>
 
  
<p><b>Death</b></p>
+
<p>God Bless you,<br />
 +
David Anson Brown</p>
  
<p>Much like his birth, the exact date of Eusebius' death is unknown. However, there is primary text evidence from a council held in Antioch that by the year 341 AD, his successor Acacius had already filled the seat as Bishop. Socrates and Sozomen write about Eusebius' death, and place it just before Constantine's son (Constantine II or Constantine the Younger) died, which was in early 340 AD. They also say that it was after the second banishment of Athanasius, which began in mid 339 AD. This means that his death occurred sometime between the second half of 339 AD and early 340 AD.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
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<p><h3>Article #5</h3></p>
  
 +
iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #5 May 1, 2004
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
  
 +
<p><b>The Passion of Leadership: The Communion Cup of Jesus Christ</b> (part 5 of 5)<br />
 +
by David Anson Brown</p>
  
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Matthew 26:27 "And He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them (disciples), saying, Drink ye all of it;"</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>Matthew 26:28 "For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."</p></blockquote>
  
 +
<p><span class="coral">As we have seen in the Leadership of Jesus during the Passion - Holy Week events, the many events didn't just happen to Jesus but in actuality <u>Jesus happened</u> to the events.</span></p>
  
<h2>March 16</h2>
 
  
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<p>In the final analysis Leadership has to have Passion and substance and it has to be a part of reality in order to have meaning. Without meaning nothing is being accomplished except for an opinion, an idea or a philosophy that is simply being taught and not the meaningful life forming substance of reality.</p>
  
  
<h3>Marcion</h3>
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<p>The substance, meaning and reality of Jesus' Passion Leadership is embodied in His Communion Cup the cup, that contains the mercy of God within His eternal blood providing the forgiveness of our sins and the reconciliation of sinful mankind into a relationship with the Holy God.</p>
  
   
 
  
<h4>Marcion of Sinope</h4>
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<p>Jesus taking the cup of redemption, <b>Mark 14:23</b> and like the bread, giving thanks. Jesus then passed the cup to the disciples and said "take, drink all of it", " this cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do, that as often as you drink of it, do it in remembrance of Me" (Jesus) <b>Matthew 26:27</b>.</p>
  
  
 +
<p>The disciples are fully aware that Jesus is speaking of a better blood than man has. He is speaking of His Spiritual life blood. They gladly take the cup of wine and gladly drink all of it. We marvel that Jesus wants us to "Drink all" that He has for us, all of His life, love, healing, compassion, mercy and grace.</p>
  
  
 +
<p>Through the New Covenant; God agreed to take on the appearance of a human and to come for us and to die in our place for our sins so that we can Live anew in a new Spiritual relationship with God. God in His Love for us has taken our penalty of death so that we can live in His life of love. With the New Covenant and our New Spiritual Life "All things have become New."</p>
  
 +
<blockquote><p>2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold All things are become New."</p></blockquote>
  
<p>Marcion of Sinope (85 - 160 AD) was a [heretical] bishop in early Christianity. His theology completely rejected the existence of the deity described in the Jewish Scriptures and in distinction affirmed the Father of Christ to be the true God. He was denounced by the Church Fathers and he chose to separate himself from the Imperial Church. He is often considered to have held [A STRONG OPPIONION - and not] a pivotal role in the development of the New Testament canon.</p>
+
<p>Christianity is substance and as substance it is to be taken part in. The offer is to take-receive and to  
 +
drink-absorb it, to internalize what God has for us and to then live out all that God has for us, all of His
 +
comfort, security, holiness, boldness and convictions.</p>
  
<p><b>Marcionism - similar to Gnosticism</b></p>
 
  
<p>Marcionism, similar to Gnosticism, depicted the Hebrew God of the Old Testament as a tyrant or demiurge (see also God as the Devil). Marcion was labeled as gnostic by Eusebius.</p>
+
<p>While embracing the substance of Jesus' cup of wine, we Christians are to become connoisseurs of the fine wine contained within the cup. We are to savor every drop and to delight in the infinite eternal pleasures to be derived from the exceedingly fine wine all the while discerning even the tiniest hint of man's imperfections that might have been added to the meaningful substance of the communion cup of Jesus.</p>
  
<p>Marcion's canon [compiled between 130 AD and 140 AD] consisted of [only] eleven [NT] books: A gospel consisting of ten sections from the Gospel of Luke edited by Marcion; and ten of Paul's epistles. All other epistles and gospels of the 27 book New Testament canon were rejected. Paul's epistles enjoy a prominent position in the Marcionite canon, since Paul is credited with correctly transmitting the universality of Jesus' message. Other authors' epistles [Notably: Peter, James, Jude, Matthew and John] were rejected since they seemed to suggest that Jesus had simply come to found a new sect within broader Judaism. Religious tribalism of this sort seemed to echo Yahwism, and was thus regarded as a corruption of the "Heavenly Father"'s teaching.</p>
 
  
<p>Marcionism was denounced by its opponents as heresy, and written against, notably by Tertullian, in a five-book treatise Adversus Marcionem, written about 208 A.D. Marcion's writings are lost, though they were widely read and numerous manuscripts must have existed. Even so, many scholars (including Henry Wace) claim it is possible to reconstruct and deduce a large part of ancient Marcionism through what later critics, especially Tertullian, said concerning Marcion.</p>
+
<p>Christian Leadership knows that the reality of freedom cannot be obtained without actually being free. Therefore, Christian leadership leads us to the eternal blood of Jesus Christ. The blood that He provides, provides our freedom as it is only the eternal blood of Jesus Christ than can provide the resurrection life, liberty and opportunity that comes with a new life in the resurrection relationship with God.</p>
  
<p><b>Note:</b> Marcion's short list of acceptable NT books was a list derived by Marcion and was counter to the already accepted (about 27) NT books of the day. It wasn't a list of what was generally accepted by the early Church as NT cannon it was a list of only what Marcion wanted to be accepted as official NT cannon.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
+
<p>But will we drink of the cup of eternal blood that Jesus is offering to us? ...</p>
  
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
+
<p>Yes, we will drink of it if we see our need for it as the gift of eternal life that God has given to us in His unselfish sacrifice on the cross. Like Jesus our Leader we are to give thanks for the Cup and for the opportunity that is contained within it. It is only through acknowledging our need for it, by recognizing its significance of the eternal life provided by it and by being thankful for what we have received from God, that we will use it and appropriate it into our lives.</p>
  
  
 +
<p>Ultimately the leadership of Passion is to give thanks to God by accepting from His hand His cup that He is offering to us and to drink from His cup of Christianity. To take part in Christianity is to partake in God's culture of life, freedom and joy. It truly is God's gift of life, freely given for us and it is from acceptance of this gift that all of our Passion for Leadership then does emerge.</p>
  
  
 +
<p>Are we allowing ourselves to live in our new found Relationship with God and are we allowing ourselves the New Freedom that this relationship has to offer? When Jesus took His Communion cup and offered it to His followers, Jesus gave with it the instruction and the invitation to "Drink all of it" Amen! and drink all of it we will.</p>
  
<h2>March 17</h2>
 
  
 +
<p>The Jesus Walk <i>2004 Holy</i> Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk <i>2004</i> devotion.</p>
  
  
<h3>Ambrose</h3>
+
<p>Thank you for taking part and being a part of The Passion of Leadership series.</p>
  
   
 
<h4>Ambrose - Archbishop of Milan - Father of Modern Christianity</h4>
 
  
<p>Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose (340 AD - 4 April 397 AD), was an Archbishop of Milan, Italy who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was consular prefect of Liguria and Emilia, headquartered in Milan, before being made Bishop of Milan by popular acclamation in 374 AD. Ambrose was a [Trinitarian in doctrine and] staunch opponent of Arianism.</p>
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<p>God Bless you,<br />
 +
David Anson Brown</p>
  
<p>Ambrose was one of the four original doctors of the [Roman Catholic] Church, and is the patron saint of Milan. He is notable for [baptizing St. Augustine and] his influence on St. Augustine.</p>
 
  
<p>Ambrose ranks with Augustine, Jerome, and Gregory the Great [Pope Gregory I], as one of the <b>Latin Doctors</b> of the [Roman Catholic] Church. Theologians compare him with Hilary [Pope from 461-468 AD], who they claim fell short of Ambrose's administrative excellence but demonstrated greater theological ability. He succeeded as a theologian despite his juridical training and his comparatively late handling of Biblical and doctrinal subjects. His spiritual successor, St. Augustine, whose conversion was helped by Ambrose's sermons, owes more to him than to any writer except Paul.</p>
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<p><i>About the author, David Anson Brown is currently the administrator of the BasicChristian.org web site and moderator of the [now closed] Basic Christian discussion forum.</i></p>
  
<p>Ambrose's intense episcopal consciousness furthered the growing doctrine of the Church and its sacerdotal ministry, while the prevalent asceticism of the day, continuing the Stoic and Ciceronian training of his youth, enabled him to promulgate a lofty standard of Christian ethics. Thus we have the De officiis ministrorum, De viduis, De virginitate and De paenitentia.</p>
 
  
<p>Soon after acquiring the undisputed possession of the Roman empire, Theodosius [Roman Emperor Theodosius I] died at Milan in 395 AD, and two years later (April 4, 397 AD) Ambrose also died. He was succeeded as Bishop of Milan by ["old but good"] Simplician (320-401 AD). Ambrose's body may still be viewed in the Church of S. Ambrogio in Milan, where it has been continuously venerated.</p>
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Source: [http://basicchristian.org/frame_jesuswalk.html The Jesus Walk 10 Day Holy Week Timeline Devotion]
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
  
<p><b>Note:</b> during the lifetime of Ambrose, Augustine and Jerome the greater Christian Church transitioned from Greek as the common language to Latin as the common written and spoken language.</p>
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==Evangelical Mennonite Confession of Faith==
  
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<p>Statements of what Mennonites believe have been among us from earliest beginnings. A group of Anabaptists, forerunners of Mennonites, wrote the Schleitheim Articles in 1527. Since then, Mennonite groups have produced numerous statements of faith. This Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective takes its place in this rich confessional history. The historic creeds of the early Christian church, which were assumed as foundational for Mennonite confessions from the beginning, are basic to this confession as well. ... This confession guides the faith and life of the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church. Further, the <b>Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective is commended to all Christian churches</b> and to those of other faiths or no faith, that they may seriously consider the claims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from this perspective. May these articles of faith encourage us to hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for the One who has promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Praise and thanksgiving be to our God!</p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p>This confession is the work of two Mennonite groups in North America, the Mennonite Church (MC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC).</p>
  
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<small>Note: provided as an informative, typical modern Protestant Evangelical Denomination Confessional.</small>
  
  
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<p><center><b>Confession of Faith - Article Summary Statement</b></center></p>
  
  
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<p>1. We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally. God has created all things visible and invisible, has brought salvation and new life to humanity through Jesus Christ, and continues to sustain the church and all things until the end of the age.</p>
  
<h2>March 18</h2>
 
  
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<p>2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Word of God become flesh. He is the Savior of the world, who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and reconciled us to God by his death on a cross. He was declared to be Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. He is the head of the church, the exalted Lord, the Lamb who was slain, coming again to reign with God in glory.</p>
  
  
<h3>Jerome</h3>
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<p>3. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God, who dwelled in Jesus Christ, who empowers the church, who is the source of our life in Christ, and who is poured out on those who believe as the guarantee of redemption.</p>
  
   
 
<h4>Jerome - Translated the Greek Codex Alexandrinus into the Latin Vulgate</h4>
 
  
<p>Jerome (347 - September 30, 420 AD) was a Latin Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, who also became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia. He is best known for his translation of the Bible into Latin, the Vulgate, and his commentaries on the Gospel of the Hebrews. His list of writings is extensive.</p>
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<p>4. We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and life. Led by the Holy Spirit in the church, we interpret Scripture in harmony with Jesus Christ.</p>
  
<p>Jerome is the second most voluminous writer (after St. Augustine) in ancient Latin Christianity. In the Roman Catholic Church, he is recognized as the patron saint of translators, librarians and encyclopedists.</p>
 
  
<p>He acquired a knowledge of Hebrew by studying with a Jew who converted to Christianity, and took the unusual position (for that time) that the Hebrew, and not the Septuagint, was the inspired text of the Old Testament. The traditional view is that he used this knowledge to translate what became known as the Vulgate, and his translation was slowly but eventually accepted in the Catholic Church. The later resurgence of Hebrew studies within Christianity owes much to him.</p>
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<p>5. We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made. All creation has its source outside itself and belongs to the Creator. The world has been created good because God is good and provides all that is needed for life.</p>
  
<p>Jerome was a scholar at a time when that statement implied a fluency in Greek. He knew some Hebrew when he started his translation project, but moved to Jerusalem to strengthen his grip on Jewish scripture commentary. A wealthy Roman aristocrat, Paula, funded his stay in a monastery in Bethlehem and he completed his translation there.</p>
 
  
<p>He began in 382 AD by correcting the existing Latin language version of the New Testament, commonly referred to as the Vetus Latina. By 390 AD he turned to translating the Hebrew Bible from the original Hebrew, having previously translated portions from the Septuagint which came from Alexandria.</p>
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<p>6. We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image. God formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them a special dignity among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation.</p>
  
<p>He believed that the Council of Jamnia, or mainstream rabbinical Judaism, had rejected the Septuagint as valid Jewish scriptural texts because of what were ascertained as mistranslations along with its Hellenistic heretical elements. He completed this work by 405 AD.</p>
 
  
<p>Prior to Jerome's Vulgate, all Latin translations of the Old Testament were based on the Septuagint not the Hebrew. Jerome's decision to use a Hebrew text instead of the previous translated Septuagint went against the advice of most other Christians, including St. Augustine, who thought the Septuagint inspired. Modern scholarship, however, has cast doubts on the actual quality of Jerome's Hebrew knowledge. Many modern scholars believe that the Greek Hexapla is the main source for Jerome's "iuxta Hebraeos" translation of the Old Testament.</p>
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<p>7. We confess that, beginning with Adam and Eve, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the tempter, and chosen to sin. All have fallen short of the Creator's intent, marred the image of God in which they were created, disrupted order in the world, and limited their love for others. Because of sin, humanity has been given over to the enslaving powers of evil and death.</p>
  
<p>For the next 15 years, until he died, Jerome produced a number of commentaries on Scripture, often explaining his translation choices in using the original Hebrew rather than suspect translations. His patristic commentaries align closely with Jewish tradition, and he indulges in allegorical and mystical subtleties after the manner of Philo and the Alexandrian school.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
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<p>8. We believe that, through Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life. We receive God's salvation when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In Christ, we are reconciled with God and brought into the reconciling community. We place our faith in God that, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, we may be saved from sin to follow Christ and to know the fullness of salvation.</p>
  
<p><b>Note:</b> the Septuagint is a somewhat problematic translation [i.e. missing sections] especially when compared to the Hebrew Masoretic Text.</p>
 
  
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<p>9. We believe that the church is the assembly of those who have accepted God's offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the new community of disciples sent into the world to proclaim the reign of God and to provide a foretaste of the church's glorious hope. It is the new society established and sustained by the Holy Spirit.</p>
  
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
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<p>10. We believe that the mission of the church is to proclaim and to be a sign of the kingdom of God. Christ has commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all things he has commanded.</p>
  
  
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<p>11. We believe that the baptism of believers with water is a sign of their cleansing from sin. Baptism is also a pledge before the church of their covenant with God to walk in the way of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers are baptized into Christ and his body by the Spirit, water, and blood.</p>
  
  
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<p>12. We believe that the Lord's Supper is a sign by which the Church thankfully remembers the New Covenant [promises of God] which Jesus established by His death [and by His Resurrection of Eternal Life]. In this Communion [togetherness - fellowship] meal, the Church renews its Covenant with God and with each other and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ, until He comes.</p>
  
<h2>March 19</h2>
 
  
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<p>13. We believe that in washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus calls us to serve one another in love as he did. Thus we acknowledge our frequent need of cleansing, renew our willingness to let go of pride and worldly power, and offer our lives in humble service and sacrificial love.</p>
  
  
<h3>The Alexandrian school</h3>
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<p>14. We practice discipline in the church as a sign of God's offer of transforming grace. Discipline is intended to liberate erring brothers and sisters from sin, and to restore them to a right relationship with God and to fellowship in the church. The practice of discipline gives integrity to the church's witness in the world.</p>
  
   
 
<h4>The Alexandrian Schools of Pagan, Secular, Occult, Gnosticism and Philosophy</h4>
 
  
<p>The Alexandrian school is a collective designation for certain tendencies in literature, philosophy, medicine, and the sciences that developed in the [Greek] Hellenistic cultural center of Alexandria, Egypt during the Hellenistic and Roman periods.</p>
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<p>15. We believe that ministry is a continuation of the work of Christ, who gives gifts through the Holy Spirit to all believers and empowers them for service in the church and in the world. We also believe that God calls particular persons in the church to specific leadership ministries and offices. All who minister are accountable to God and to the community of faith.</p>
  
<p>Alexandria was a remarkable center of learning due to the blending of Greek and Oriental influences, its favorable situation and commercial resources, and the enlightened energy of some of the Macedonian Dynasty of the Ptolemies ruling over Egypt, in the final centuries BC. Much scholarly work was collected in the great Library of Alexandria during this time. A lot of epic poetry, as well as works on geography, history, mathematics, astronomy and medicine were composed during this period.</p>
 
  
<p>The name of Alexandrian school is also used to describe the religious and philosophical developments in Alexandria after the 1st century. The mix of Jewish theology and Greek philosophy led to a syncretic mix and much mystical speculation. The Neoplatonists devoted themselves to examining the nature of the soul, and sought communion with God. The two great schools of biblical interpretation in the early Christian church incorporated Neoplatonism and philosophical beliefs from Plato's teachings into Christianity, and interpreted much of the Bible allegorically. The founders of the Alexandrian school of Christian theology were Clement of Alexandria and Origen.</p>
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<p>16. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ is one body with many members, ordered in such a way that, through the one Spirit, believers may be built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.</p>
  
<p><b>History</b></p>
 
  
<p>Alexandria, Egypt founded [as a Greek city in Egypt] by [the Greek] Alexander the Great (356-323 BC) about the time when Greece, in losing her national independence [to Rome], lost also her intellectual supremacy, and was well adapted for becoming the new centre of the world's activity and thought.</p>
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<p>17. We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to discipleship, to take up our cross and follow him. Through the gift of God's saving grace, we are empowered to be disciples of Jesus, filled with his Spirit, following his teachings and his path through suffering to new life. As we are faithful to his way, we become conformed to Christ and separated from the evil in the world.</p>
  
<p>Its situation brought it into commercial relations with all the nations lying around the Mediterranean, and at the same time it was the one communicating link with the wealth and civilization of the East. The natural advantages it enjoyed were increased to an enormous extent by the care of the sovereigns of Egypt. Ptolemy Soter (reigned 323-285 BC), to whom Egypt had fallen after the death of Alexander, began to draw around him from Greece a circle of men eminent in literature and philosophy. To these he gave aid for them to carry out their work. Under the inspiration of his friend Demetrius of Phalerum, the Athenian orator, statesman and philosopher, Ptolemy laid the foundations of the great Library of Alexandria and began the search for all written works, which resulted in such a collection as the world has seldom seen. He also built the Museum, in which, maintained by the state, the scholars resided, studied and taught.</p>
 
  
<p><b>Note:</b> Ptolemy II sponsored the translation of the Greek Septuagint (about 275 BC). -- Ptolemy V. commissioned [in Memphis, Egypt] the carving of what became known as the Rosetta Stone (196 BC). -- Cleopatra the daughter of Ptolemy XII was the last Ptolemy to rule in Egypt. Cleopatra died with the Roman Mark Antony at her palace in Alexandria, Egypt in 30 BC.</p>
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<p>18. We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Spirit. As the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes shape in us, we grow in the image of Christ and in our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is active in individual and in communal worship, leading us deeper into the experience of God.</p>
  
<p>The Museum, or academy of science, was in many respects not unlike a modern university. The work begun by Ptolemy Soter was carried on by his descendants, in particular by his two immediate successors, Ptolemy Philadelphus and Ptolemy Euergetes. Philadelphus (285-247), whose librarian was the celebrated Callimachus, bought up all Aristotle's collection of books, and also introduced a number of Jewish and Egyptian works. Among these appears to have been a portion of the Septuagint. Euergetes (247-222) increased the library by seizing on the original editions of the dramatists from the Athenian archives, and by compelling all travellers who arrived in Alexandria to leave a copy of any work they possessed.</p>
 
  
<p>This intellectual movement extended over a long period of years and can be split into two periods. The first period extends from about 306 to 30 BC, the time from the foundation of the Ptolemaic dynasty to the conquest by the Romans; the second extends from 30 BC to the destruction of the Alexandria Library somethime before or upon the capture of Alexandria by 'Amr ibn al-'As in 641 AD. The clear differences between these two periods explains the variety and vagueness of meaning attaching to the term "Alexandrian School."</p>
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<p>19. We believe that God intends human life to begin in families and to be blessed through families. Even more, God desires all people to become part of the church, God's family. As single and married members of the church family give and receive nurture and healing, families can grow toward the wholeness that God intends. We are called to chastity and to loving faithfulness in marriage.</p>
  
<p>In the first period the intellectual activity was of a literary and scientific nature. It was an attempt to continue and develop, under new conditions, the old Hellenic culture. This effort was particularly noticeable under the early Ptolemies. As we approach the 1st century BC, the Alexandrian school began to break up and to lose its individuality. This was due partly to the state of government under the later Ptolemies, partly to the formation of new scholarly circles in Rhodes, Syria and elsewhere. This gradual dissolution was much increased when Alexandria fell under Roman sway.</p>
 
  
<p>As the influence of the school was extended over the whole Graeco-Roman world, scholars began to concentrate at Rome rather than at Alexandria. In Alexandria, however, there were new forces in operation which. produced a second great outburst of intellectual life. The new movement, which was influenced by Judaism and Christianity, resulted in the speculative philosophy of the Neoplatonists and the religious philosophy of the Gnostics and early church fathers.</p>
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<p>20. We commit ourselves to tell the truth, to give a simple yes or no, and to avoid the swearing of oaths.</p>
  
<p><b>Note:</b> a possible explanation of what happened to the Bible during the Early Christian Church era is that after the passing of the original Apostles the writings were collected, notably by Origen, and brought to Alexandria, Egypt where there was already a considerable interest and history of translating and editing the Jewish Old Testament. Upon the arrival of the NT epistles in Alexandria a few edits were made notably 1st John 5:7 was removed, the removal and replacement of NT Hebrew with Aramaic i.e. Mark 15:33 and the removal of NT "Masoretic Text" quotes were replaced with quotes from the Septuagint  (LXX) text. -- When Origen departed Alexandria, Egypt for his new home in Caesarea, Israel he took with him his library of edited NT epistles. Due to the availability of the "Egyptian Texts" and the constant persecution of the "Galatian-Byzantine Texts" the slightly modified "Egyptian Texts" became the normal Biblical texts that we have today.</p>
 
  
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<p>21. We believe that everything belongs to God, who calls the church to live in faithful stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us, and to participate now in the rest and justice which God has promised.</p>
  
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
  
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<p>22. We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God's peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.</p>
  
  
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<p>23. We believe that the church is God's holy nation, called to give full allegiance to Christ its head and to witness to every nation, government, and society about God's saving love.</p>
  
  
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<p>24. We place our hope in the reign of God and its fulfillment in the day when Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. He will gather his church, which is already living under the reign of God. We await God's final victory, the end of this present age of struggle, the resurrection of the dead, and a new heaven and a new earth. There the people of God will reign with Christ in justice, righteousness, and peace for ever and ever.</p>
  
<h2>March 20</h2>
 
  
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<p>[25.] We support God's Covenant Jewish people and the Zionist Nation of Israel.</p>
  
  
<h3>1st John 5:7</h3>
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<p><small>Copyright © 1995 by Herald Press Scottdale PA 15683. Published by arrangement with the General Boards of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church. All rights reserved.</small></p>
  
   
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<p><small>Source: mennonitechurch.ca</small></p>
<h4>1st John 5:7 - Possibly the Most Disputed Verse in the Bible</h4>
 
  
  
<blockquote><p>For there are Three that bear (witness) record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit: and these Three are One. ~ 1 John 5:7</p></blockquote>
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==Resources==
  
<p>Among the most controversial verses of the Bible is what some consider an explicit reference that supports the doctrine of the Trinity, 1 John 5:7-8. Although verse 7 does [supposedly] not appear in any version of the Greek text prior to the ninth century [but this does not take into account the Greek Manuscripts prior to any Alexandrian edits], <b>it (1 John 5:7) appears in most of the Latin manuscripts</b>, especially in the Vetus Itala [Vetus Latina], Old Latin predating Jerome. -- [Note: Jerome used the edited Codex Alexandrinus for his NT translation.]</p>
 
  
<p><b>Tertullian</b></p>
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<p>[http://www.commonchristiancommunity.com/Common-Christian-Community-Devotional.html The Christian Community Daily Devotional]</p>
  
<p>Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus, anglicised as Tertullian (160 - 225 AD), was a prolific early Christian author from Carthage in the Roman province of Africa. He is the first Christian author to produce an extensive corpus of Latin Christian literature. He also was a notable early Christian apologist and a polemicist against heresy. Tertullian has been called "the father of Latin Christianity" and "the founder of Western theology."</p>
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<p>[http://www.commonchristiancommunity.com/downloads/BasicChristian_Essentials.zip Basic Christian: Essentials] (Zip)</p>
  
<p>Though conservative, he did originate and advance new theology to the early Church. He is perhaps most famous for being the oldest extant Latin writer to use the term Trinity (Latin, trinitas), and giving the oldest extant formal exposition of a Trinitarian theology. Other Latin formulations that first appear in his work are "three Persons, one Substance" as the Latin "tres Personae, una Substantia" (itself from the Koine Greek "treis Hypostases, Homoousios"). He wrote his trinitarian formula after becoming a Montanist. However, unlike many Church fathers, he was never canonized by the Catholic Church, as several of his later teachings directly contradicted the actions and teachings of the apostles.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
  
<p>Tertullian quoted the often disputed verse 1 John 5:7 [from texts predating the Alexandrian edits] in about 200 A.D. in his Apology, Against Praxeas.</p>
 
  
<p><small>Source: chick.com</small></p>
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[[User:David Anson Brown|David Anson Brown]] 11:47, 28 July 2014 (MST)
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 21</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Carthage</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>Carthage, North Africa</h4>
 
 
 
<p><b>Cyprian</b></p>
 
 
 
<p>Cyprian (200 AD - September 14, 258 AD) was Bishop of Carthage and an important Early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are extant [remain currently in existence]. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education. After converting to Christianity, he became a bishop in 249 and eventually died a martyr at Carthage.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Not long after his baptism he was ordained deacon, and soon afterward presbyter; and sometime between July 248 and April 249 he was chosen bishop of Carthage, a popular choice among the poor who remembered his patronage as demonstrating good equestrian style, while a portion of the presbytery opposed it, for all Cyprian's wealth and learning and diplomacy and literary talents. Moreover, the opposition within the church community at Carthage did not dissolve during his episcopacy.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Soon, however, the entire community was put to an unwanted test. Christians in North Africa had not suffered persecution for many years; the church was assured and lax. Early in 250 the "Decian persecution" began. Measures were first taken demanding that the bishops and officers of the church sacrifice to the emperor. The proconsul on circuit, and five commissioners for each town, administered the edict; but, when the proconsul reached Carthage, Cyprian had fled.</p>
 
 
 
<p>It is quite evident in the writings of the church fathers from various dioceses that the Christian community was divided on this occasion, among those who stood firm in civil disobedience, and those who buckled, submitting in word or in deed to the order of sacrifice and receiving a ticket or receipt called a "libellus." Cyprian's secret departure from Carthage was interpreted by his enemies as cowardice and infidelity, and they hastened to accuse him at Rome. The Roman clergy wrote to Cyprian in terms of disapproval. Cyprian rejoined that he fled in accordance with visions and the divine command. From his place of refuge he ruled his flock with earnestness and zeal, using a faithful deacon as his intermediary.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Cyprian's works were edited in volumes 3 and 4 of the Patrologia Latina. Besides a number of epistles, which are partly collected with the answers of those to whom they were written, Cyprian wrote a number of treatises, some of which have also the character of pastoral letters.</p>
 
 
 
<p>**His most important work is his "De unitate ecclesiae." In it, he states: "He can no longer have God for his Father who has not the Church for his mother; . . . he who gathereth elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ" (vi.); "nor is there any other home to believers but the one Church" (ix.).</p>
 
 
 
<p>The Plague of Cyprian is named after him due to his description of it.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<p>I will now move on to his arguments concerning whether or not Cyprian quoted "a version" of 1 John 5:7. ...</p>
 
 
 
<p>Since Cyprian wrote the disputed passage [1 John 5:7] in Latin I feel it necessary to list Cyprian's words in Latin. Cyprian wrote, "Dicit dominus, Ego et pater unum sumus (John x. 30), et iterum de Patre, et Filio, et Spiritu Sancto scriptum est, Et tres unum sunt." (The Lord says, "I and the Father are One," and again, of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost it is written: "And the three are One."). This Latin reading is important when you compare it to the Old Latin [Vetus Latina] reading of 1 John 5:7; <i>"Quoniam tres sunt, gui testimonium dant in coelo: Pater, Verbum, et Spiritus sanctus: et hi tres unum sunt."</i> Cyprian clearly says that it is written of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost--"And the three are One." <b>His Latin matches the Old Latin reading identically with the exception of 'hi'.</b> Again, it is important to note that Cyprian said "it is written" when making his remarks. He never indicates, that he is putting some sort of "theological spin" on 1 John 5:7 or 8. There is no other verse that expressly states that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are 'three in one' outside of 1 John 5:7. If Cyprian was not quoting 1 John 5:7 the question must be asked and answered: What was he quoting?</p>
 
 
 
<p>The matter becomes even more devastating when we take into account another of Cyprian's many statements. When considering issues such as this one before us it is necessary to lay on the table as much of the evidence as one can. Often many of the facts are purposely kept silent due to their damaging testimony. Cyprian writes in another place, <i>"et sanctificatus est, et templum Dei factus ets, quaero cujus Dei? Si Creatoris, non potuit, qui in eum non credidit; si Christi, nec hujus fieri potuit templum, qui negat Deum Christum; si Spiritus Sancti, cum tres unum sunt, quomodo Spiritus Sanctus placatus esse ei potest, qui aut Patris aut Fillii inimicus est?"</i> If he [a person confessing to be a Christian but denying the Tri-Unity of God] was sanctified, he also was made the temple of God. I ask, of what God? If of the Creator; he could not be, because he has not believed in Him. If of Christ; he could not become His temple, since he denies that Christ is God. If of the Holy Spirit; <b>SINCE THE THREE ARE ONE</b>, how can the Holy Spirit be at peace with him who is the enemy either of the Son or of the Father? Here again we see Cyprian stating that "the three are One" (i.e. the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). This I feel is important because it gives us another reference in Cyprian's writings testifying to the fact that he was not merely putting a "theological spin" on 1 John 5:7/8. <b>The fact is 1 John 5:7 was found in Cyprian's [Bible] copies.</b></p>
 
 
 
<blockquote><p>And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecute you Me (Jesus)? And he said, Who [Father, Son or Holy Spirit] are thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom you persecute ... ~ Acts 9:4-5</p></blockquote>
 
 
 
<p>Admittedly, the second quote is not near as 'strong' as the first but when the evidence it presented, without all the conjecture, only one seeking to hide something can ignore the fact that Cyprian knew full well the wording of 1 John 5:7 as found in our Authorized [KJV] Version. This is so evident that even Frederick Scrivener, who adamantly opposed the Comma, was compelled to say, "If these two passages be taken together (the first is manifestly much the stronger), it is surely safer and more candid to admit that Cyprian read ver. 7 in his copies, than to resort to the explanation of Facundus, that the holy Bishop was merely putting on ver. 8 a spiritual meaning (Plain Introduction, p. 405)." I couldn't agree more with the words of Dr. Scrivener! The question then becomes, why do [scholars] continue to espouse this "spiritual meaning/theological spin" hypothesis when this allegation has been refuted for centuries? One can only wonder if the reason behind this charade is not to further conceal the actual evidence and to further mislead the unsuspecting saints.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: avdefense.webs.com</small></p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 22</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Wycliffe Bible</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>The John Wycliffe English Bible from about 1382 AD to 1395 AD</h4>
 
 
 
<p>John Wycliffe (1320 AD - December 1384 AD) called "The Morning Star of the Reformation".</p>
 
 
 
<p>Wycliffe was also an early advocate for translation of the Bible into the common language. He completed his translation directly from the Vulgate into vernacular English in the year 1382, now known as Wycliffe's Bible. It is probable that he personally translated the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; and it is possible he translated the entire New Testament, while his associates translated the Old Testament. Wycliffe's Bible appears to have been completed by 1384, with additional updated versions being done by Wycliffe's assistant John Purvey and others in 1388 AD and 1395 AD.</p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Translated into English from Jerome's Latin Vulgate</b></p>
 
 
 
<p>Wycliffe's Bible is the name now given to a group of Bible translations into Middle English that were made under the direction of, or at the instigation of, John Wycliffe. They appeared over a period from approximately 1382 AD to 1395 AD. These Bible translations were the chief inspiration and chief cause of the Lollard movement, a pre-Reformation movement that rejected many of the distinctive teachings of the Roman Catholic Church. In the early Middle Ages, most Western Christian people encountered the Bible only in the form of oral versions of scriptures, verses and homilies in Latin (other sources were mystery plays, usually conducted in the vernacular, and popular iconography). Though relatively few people could read at this time, Wycliffe's idea was to translate the Bible into the vernacular, saying "it helpeth Christian men to study the Gospel in that tongue in which they know best Christ's sentence".</p>
 
 
 
<p>Long thought to be the work of Wycliffe himself, the Wycliffite translations are now generally believed to be the work of several hands. Nicholas of Hereford is known to have translated a part of the text; John Purvey and perhaps John Trevisa are names that have been mentioned as possible authors. The translators worked from the Vulgate, the Latin Bible that was the standard Biblical text of Western Christianity, and the text conforms fully with Catholic teaching. They included in the testaments those works which would later be called deuterocanonical [extra biblical - Apocryphal books] by most Protestants, along with 3 Esdras which is now called 2 Esdras and Paul's epistle to the Laodiceans.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Wycliffe became deeply disillusioned both with Scholastic theology of his day and also with the state of the church, at least as represented by the clergy. In the final phase of his life in the years before his death in 1384 he increasingly argued for Scriptures as the authoritative centre of Christianity, that the claims of the papacy were unhistorical, that monasticism was irredeemably corrupt, and that the moral unworthiness of priests invalidated their office and sacraments.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p>Although unauthorized, the work was popular. Wycliffe Bible texts are the most common manuscript literature in Middle English. More than 250 manuscripts of the Wycliffe Bible survive.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Although Wycliffe's Bible circulated widely in the later Middle Ages, it had very little influence on the first English biblical translations of the reformation era such as those of William Tyndale and Miles Coverdale, as it had been translated from the Latin Vulgate rather than the original Greek and Hebrew; and consequently it was generally ignored in later English Protestant biblical scholarship. The earliest printed edition, of the New Testament only, was by John Lewis in 1731. However, due to the common of surviving manuscripts of Wycliffe's Bible as works of an unknown Catholic translator, this version continued to circulate among 16th-century English Catholics, and many of its renderings of the Vulgate into English were adopted by the translators of the Rheims New Testament. Since the Rheims version was itself to be consulted by the translators working for King James [KJV] a number of readings from Wycliffe's Bible did find their way into the Authorized King James Version of the Bible at second hand.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Note:</b> the only available Bible at that time was Jerome's Latin Vulgate - the Byzantine Textus Receptus (TR) would not come to Europe until after the Fall of Constantinople in 1453 AD.</p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Also Note:</b> at that time the differences between the Bibles, the old Vetus Latina, Jerome's Latin Vulgate and the soon to be westernized (Byzantine) Textus Receptus was very minimal with only about a 2% discrepancy in the totality of the Bible. -- With the Bible versions being so closely matched some of the work of John Wycliffe carried directly into the later work of William Tyndale and much of Tyndale's work went directly into the KJV translation as 98% of the Bible was undisputed the KJV translators were mainly working to standardize the Bible and correct a few disputed verses of the Bible.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 23</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>The Fall of Constantinople</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>The Fall of Roman Constantinople to Turkish Muslims in 1453 AD</h4>
 
 
 
<p>The Fall of Constantinople (Turkish: Conquest of Istanbul) was the capture of Constantinople (Istanbul), the capital of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, which occurred after a siege by the invading [Muslims of the] Ottoman Empire, under the command of 21-year-old Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, against the defending army commanded by Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI Palaiologos. The siege lasted from Friday, 6 April 1453 AD until Tuesday, 29 May 1453 AD according to the Julian calendar, when the city fell and was finally conquered by the [Turkish] Ottomans.</p>
 
 
 
<p>The capture of Constantinople (and two other Byzantine splinter territories soon thereafter) marked the end of the Roman Empire, an imperial state which had lasted for nearly 1,500 years. The Ottoman conquest of Constantinople also dealt a massive blow to Christendom, as the Ottoman armies thereafter were free to advance into Europe without an adversary to their rear. After the conquest, Sultan Mehmed transferred the capital of the Ottoman Empire from Adrianople to Istanbul (Constantinople). Several Greek and non-Greek intellectuals fled the city before and after the siege, with the majority of them migrating particularly to Italy, which helped fuel the Renaissance.</p>
 
 
 
<p>The conquest of the city of Constantinople and the end of the Byzantine Empire marks, for some historians, the end of the Middle Ages.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<blockquote><p>After this I [Daniel] saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast [Rome], dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and [Rome] it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and [Revised Rome - i.e. starting with Emperor Constantine the Great, he reigned about 306-337 AD - 7th Kingdom] it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn [Antichrist], before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. I beheld till the Thrones [Kingdoms] were cast down, and the Ancient of Days [God] did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool: His Throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels [movement] as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him: thousand thousands [i.e. millions of Saints] ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand [i.e. billions] stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the [Antichrist] horn spake: I beheld even till the beast [Antichrist] was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame (Revelation 19:20). As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. ~ Daniel 7:7-12</p></blockquote>
 
 
 
<p><b>Note:</b> the Fall of Constantinople was less an "end of the Roman Empire" and more a downsizing and modernizing of the emergent Holy Roman Empire.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 24</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Johannes Gutenberg</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
 
 
<h4>Johannes Gutenberg invented the Mechanical Movable Type Printing Press in 1445 AD</h4>
 
 
 
<p><center><i>In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society</i></center></p>
 
 
 
<p>Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg (1395 - February 3, 1468 AD) was a German blacksmith, goldsmith, printer, and publisher who introduced printing to Europe. His invention of mechanical movable type printing started the Printing Revolution and is widely regarded as the most important event of the modern period. It played a key role in the development of the Renaissance, Reformation, the Age of Enlightenment, and the Scientific Revolution and laid the material basis for the modern knowledge-based economy and the spread of learning to the masses.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Gutenberg was the first European to use movable type printing, in around 1439. Among his many contributions to printing are: the invention of a process for mass-producing movable type; the use of oil-based ink; and the use of a wooden printing press similar to the agricultural screw presses of the period. His truly epochal invention was the combination of these elements into a practical system which allowed the mass production of printed books and was economically viable for printers and readers alike. Gutenberg's method for making type is traditionally considered to have included a type metal alloy and a hand mold for casting type.</p>
 
 
 
<p>In Renaissance Europe, the arrival of mechanical movable type printing introduced the era of mass communication which permanently altered the structure of society. The relatively unrestricted circulation of information - including revolutionary ideas - transcended borders, captured the masses in the Reformation and threatened the power of political and religious authorities; the sharp increase in literacy broke the monopoly of the literate elite on education and learning and bolstered the emerging middle class. Across Europe, the increasing cultural self-awareness of its people led to the rise of proto-nationalism, accelerated by the flowering of the European vernacular languages to the detriment of Latin's status as lingua franca. In the 19th century, the replacement of the hand-operated Gutenberg-style press by steam-powered rotary presses allowed printing on an industrial scale, while Western-style printing was adopted all over the world, becoming practically the sole medium for modern bulk printing.</p>
 
 
 
<p>The use of movable type was a marked improvement on the handwritten manuscript, which was the existing method of book production in Europe, and upon woodblock printing, and revolutionized European book-making. Gutenberg's printing technology spread rapidly throughout Europe and later the world.</p>
 
 
 
<p><b>The Gutenberg Bible 1454 AD</b></p>
 
 
 
<p>His major work, the Gutenberg Bible [the first Bible printed by machine], has been acclaimed for its high aesthetic and technical quality. -- Written in Latin, the Gutenberg Bible is an edition of the Vulgate.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 25</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Desiderius Erasmus</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>Desiderius Erasmus in 1516 AD, published the Greek (Textus Receptus) New Testament</h4>
 
 
 
<p>Desiderius Erasmus in 1516, published his (Textus Receptus) Greek New Testament - [Note: the (Textus Receptus) was a coalition of various existing Greek Texts aligned to the newly received more ancient Greek texts from the recently fallen region of Constantinople hence the name "Textus Receptus" or simply Texts Received.</p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Desiderius Erasmus</b></p>
 
 
 
<p>Over the years, Erasmus became intimately acquainted with biblical manuscripts available throughout Europe, particularly of the New Test-ament. Because the Word of God is quick and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword, it is evident as Erasmus began to search the Scriptures, they had a profound effect upon his life. By the time of his death, the theology of Erasmus had shifted closer to that of the Ana-baptists than that of Rome. This will shortly be documented.</p>
 
 
 
<p>As noted above, in 1516, Erasmus published from Basel, Switzer-land, his Greek New Testament which he called the Novum Instru-mentum. In English that means the "New Instrument. Contrary to popular misconception, Erasmus had more than a handful of manu-scripts at his disposal. Preserved Smith, the noted expert on the life of Erasmus, comments, "For the first edition Erasmus had before him ten manuscripts, four of which he found in England, and five at Basle. . . . <b>The last codex was lent him by John Reuchlin . . . (and) appeared to Erasmus so old that it might have come from the Apostolic Age</b>." He was aware of Vaticanus in the Vatican Library and had a friend by the name of Bombasius research that for him (165). He, however, rejected the characteristic variants of Codex Vaticanus which distinguishes itself from the Received Text (RT).</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: av1611.com</small></p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p>Desiderius Erasmus (27 October 1466 AD - 12 July 1536 AD), known as Erasmus of Rotterdam, or simply Erasmus, was a Dutch Renaissance humanist (i.e. professionalism), Catholic priest, social critic, teacher, and theologian.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Erasmus was a classical scholar who wrote in a pure Latin style. He was a proponent of religious toleration, and enjoyed the sobriquet "Prince of the Humanists"; he has been called "the crowning glory of the Christian humanists". Using humanist techniques for working on texts, he prepared important new Latin and Greek editions of the New Testament. These raised questions that would be influential in the Protestant Reformation and Catholic Counter-Reformation. He also wrote On Free Will, The Praise of Folly, Handbook of a Christian Knight, On Civility in Children, Copia: Foundations of the Abundant Style, Julius Exclusus, and many other works.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Erasmus lived against the backdrop of the growing European religious Reformation; but while he was critical of the abuses within the Church and called for reform, he kept his distance from Luther and Melanchthon and continued to recognise the authority of the pope. Erasmus emphasized a middle way, with a deep respect for traditional faith, piety and grace, and rejected Luther's emphasis on faith alone. Erasmus therefore remained a member of the Catholic Church all his life. Erasmus remained committed to reforming the Church and its clerics' abuses from within. He also held to Catholic doctrines such as that of free will, which some Reformers rejected in favor of the doctrine of predestination. His middle road approach disappointed and even angered scholars in both camps.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Erasmus died suddenly in Basel in 1536 while preparing to return to Brabant, and was buried in the Basel Minster, the former cathedral of the city. A bronze statue of him was erected in his city of birth in 1622, replacing an earlier work in stone.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Note:</b> though Erasmus had about a dozen Greek NT text Manuscripts available to him after comparing the various Manuscripts and confirming their uniformity he only heavily used a couple of them to complete his Greek NT Edition the Textus Receptus - not many repetitive Texts are needed if they all say the same thing because they are supposed to say the same thing. Only a couple of reliable Manuscripts were needed in order to combine them into the Greek Textus Receptus that we have today.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 26</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>William Tyndale</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>William Tyndale translated the first English Bible from the Ancient Greek</h4>
 
 
 
<p>William Tyndale translated the first English Bible from Greek notably using in part the Greek Textus Receptus of Desiderius Erasmus.</p>
 
 
 
<p>William Tyndale (1494-1536 AD) was an English scholar who became a leading figure in Protestant reform in the years leading up to his execution. He is well known for his translation of the Bible into English. He was influenced by the work of Desiderius Erasmus, who made the Greek New Testament available in Europe, and by Martin Luther. While a number of partial and incomplete translations had been made from the seventh century onward, the grass-roots spread of Wycliffe's Bible resulted in a death sentence for any unlicensed possession of Scripture in English-even though translations in all other major European languages had been accomplished and made available. Tyndale's translation was the first English Bible to draw directly from Hebrew and Greek texts, the first English one to take advantage of the printing press, and first of the new English Bibles of the Reformation. It was taken to be a direct challenge to the hegemony of both the Roman Catholic Church and English Laws to maintain church rulings. In 1530 AD, Tyndale also wrote The Practyse of Prelates, opposing Henry VIII's divorce on the grounds that it contravened Scripture.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Tyndale had to learn Hebrew in Germany due to England's active Edict of Expulsion against the Jews. He worked in an age where Greek was available to the European scholarly community for the first time in centuries. Erasmus compiled and edited Greek Scriptures into the Textus Receptus - ironically, to improve upon the Latin Vulgate-following the Renaissance-fueling Fall of Constantinople in 1453 and the dispersion of Greek-speaking intellectuals and texts into a Europe which previously had access to none. Sharing Erasmus' translation ideals, Tyndale took the ill-regarded, unpopular and awkward Middle-English "vulgar" tongue, improved upon it using Greek and Hebrew syntaxes and idioms, and formed an Early Modern English basis that Shakespeare and others would later follow and build upon as Tyndale-inspired vernacular forms took over. When a copy of The Obedience of a Christian Man fell into the hands of Henry VIII, the king found the rationale to break the Church in England from the Roman Catholic Church in 1534.</p>
 
 
 
<p>In 1535 AD, Tyndale was arrested and jailed in the castle of Vilvoorde (Filford) outside Brussels for over a year. In 1536 he was convicted of heresy and executed by strangulation, after which his body was burnt at the stake. His dying request that the King of England's eyes would be opened seemed to find its fulfillment just two years later with Henry's authorization of The Great Bible for the Church of England-which was largely Tyndale's own work. Hence, the Tyndale Bible, as it was known, continued to play a key role in spreading Reformation ideas across the English-speaking world and eventually, on the global British Empire.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Notably, in 1611, the 54 independent scholars who created the King James Version, drew significantly from Tyndale, as well as translations that descended from his. One estimate suggests the New Testament in the King James Version is 83% Tyndale's, and the Old Testament 76%. With his translation of the Bible the first ever to be printed in English, and a model for subsequent English translations, in 2002, Tyndale was placed at number 26 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 27</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>King James Version</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>The King James Version 1611</h4>
 
 
 
<p>The King James Version (KJV), commonly known as the Authorized Version (AV) or King James Bible (KJB), is an English translation of the Christian Bible for the Church of England begun in 1604 AD and completed in 1611 AD. First printed by the King's Printer Robert Barker, this was the third translation into English to be approved by the English Church authorities. The first was the Great Bible commissioned in the reign of King Henry VIII (1535 AD), and the second was the Bishops' Bible of 1568 AD. In January 1604 AD, King James VI and I convened the Hampton Court Conference where a new English version was conceived in response to the perceived problems of the earlier translations as detected by the Puritans, a faction within the Church of England.</p>
 
 
 
<p>King James gave the translators instructions intended to guarantee that the new version would conform to the ecclesiology and reflect the episcopal structure of the Church of England and its belief in an ordained clergy. The translation was done by 47 scholars, all of whom were members of the Church of England. In common with most other translations of the period, the New Testament was translated from Greek, the Old Testament was translated from Hebrew text, while the Apocrypha were translated from the Greek and Latin. In the Book of Common Prayer (1662 AD), the text of the Authorized Version replaced the text of the Great Bible - for Epistle and Gospel readings - and as such was authorized by Act of Parliament. By the first half of the 18th century, the Authorized Version was effectively unchallenged as the English translation used in Anglican and Protestant churches. Over the course of the 18th century, the Authorized Version supplanted the Latin Vulgate as the standard version of scripture for English speaking scholars. Today, the most used edition of the King James Bible, and often identified as plainly the King James Version [and even KJV 1611], especially in the United States, closely follows the standard text of 1769 AD, edited by Benjamin Blayney at Oxford.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Dedication by the Translators to King James</b></p>
 
 
 
<p>TO THE MOST HIGH AND MIGHTY PRINCE JAMES, BY THE GRACE OF GOD,<br />
 
KING OF GREAT BRITAIN, FRANCE, AND IRELAND, DEFENDER OF THE FAITH, ETC.<br />
 
THE TRANSLATORS OF THE BIBLE WISH GRACE, MERCY, AND PEACE, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD</p>
 
 
 
<p>Great and manifold were the blessings, most dread Sovereign, which Almighty God, the Father of all mercies, bestowed upon us the people of England, when first he sent Your Majesty's Royal Person to rule and reign over us. For whereas it was the expectation of many, who wished not well unto our Sion, that, upon the setting of that bright Occindental Star, Queen Elizabeth, of most happy memory, some thick and palpable clouds of darkness would so have overshadowed this land, that men should have been in doubt which way they were to walk, and that it should hardly be known who was to direct the unsettled State; the appearance of Your Majesty, as of the Sun in his strength, instantly dispelled those supposed and surmised mists, and gave unto all that were well affected exceeding cause of comfort; especially when we beheld the Government established in Your Highness, and Your hopeful Seed, by an undoubted Title; and this also accompanied with peace and tranquillity at home and abroad.</p>
 
 
 
<p>But among all of our joys, there was no one that more filled our hearts than the blessed continuance of the preaching of God's sacred Word among us, which is that inestimable treasure which excelleth all the riches of the earth; because the fruit thereof extendeth itself, not only to the time spent in this transitory world, but directeth and disposeth men unto that eternal happiness which is above in heaven. </p>
 
 
 
<p>Then not to suffer this fall to the ground, but rather to take it up, and to continue it in that state wherein the famous Predecessor of Your Highness did leave it; nay, to go forward with the confidence and resolution of a man, in maintaining the truth of Christ, and propagating it far and near is that which hath so bound and firmly knit the hearts of all Your Majesty's loyal and religious people unto You, that Your very name is precious among them: their eye doth behold You with comfort, and they bless You in their hearts, as that sanctified Person, who, under God, is the immediate author of their true happiness. And this their contentment doth not diminish or decay, but every day increaseth and taketh strength, when they observe that the zeal of Your Majesty toward the house of God doth not slack or go backward, but is more and more kindled, manifesting itself abroad in the farthest parts of Christendom, by writing in defence of the truth, which hath given such a blow unto that Man of Sin as will not be healed, and every day at home, by religious and learned discourse, by frequenting the house of God, by hearing the Word preached, by cherishing the teachers thereof, by caring for the Church, as a most tender and loving nursing father. </p>
 
 
 
<p>There are infinite arguments of this right Christian and religious affection in Your Majesty; but none is more forcible to declare it to others than the vehement and perpetuated desire of accomplishing and publishing of this work, which now, with all humility, we present unto Your Majesty. For when Your Highness had once, out of deep judgement, apprehended how convenient it was, that, out of the Original sacred Tongues, together with comparing of the labours, both in our own and other foreign languages, of many worthy men who went before us, there should be one more exact translation of the Holy Scriptures into the English tongue; Your Majesty did never desist to urge and to excite those to whom it was commended, that the Work might be hastened, and that the business might be expedited in so decent a manner, as a matter of such importance might justly require. </p>
 
 
 
<p>And now at last, by the mercy of God, and the continuance of our labours, it being brought unto such a conclusion, as that we have great hopes that the Church of England shall reap good fruit thereby, we hold it our duty to offer it to Your Majesty, not only as to our King and Sovereign, but as to the principal mover and author of the Work; humbly craving of your most Sacred Majesty, that, since things of this quality have ever been subject to the censures of ill-meaning and discontented persons, it may receive approbation and patronage from so learned and judicious a Prince as Your Highness is; whose allowance and acceptance of our labours shall more honour and encourage us, than all the calumniations and hard interpretations of other men shall dismay us. So that if, on the one side, we shall be traduced by Popish persons at home or abroad, who therefore will malign us, because we are poor instruments to make God's holy truth to be yet more and more known unto the people, whom they desire still to keep in ignorance and darkness; or if, on the other side, we shall be maligned by self-conceited brethren, who run their own ways, and give liking unto nothing but what is framed by themselves, and hammered on their anvil, we may rest secure, supported within by the truth and innocency of a good conscience, having walked the ways of simplicity and integrity, as before the Lord, and sustained without by the powerful protection of Your Majesty's grace and favour, which will ever give countenance to honest and Christian endeavours against bitter censures and uncharitable imputations. </p>
 
 
 
<p>The Lord of heaven and earth bless Your Majesty with many and happy days, that, as his heavenly hand hath enriched Your Highness with many singular and extraordinary graces, so You may be the wonder of the world in this latter age for happiness and true felicity, to the honour of that great God, and the good of his Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 28</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Stephanus NT Bible 1550</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>The Stephanus Greek Textus Receptus 1550 AD Bible</h4>
 
 
 
<p>Robert Estienne, known as Stephanus (1503-1559 AD), a printer from Paris, edited the Greek (Textus Receptus) New Testament four times, in 1546, 1549, 1550 and 1551, the last in Geneva.</p>
 
 
 
<p>In 1532, he published the remarkable Thesaurus linguae latinae, and twice he published the entire Hebrew Bible - "one with the Commentary of Kimchi on the minor prophets, in 13 vols. 4to (quarto) (Paris, 1539-43), another in 10 vols. 16mo (sextodecimo) (ibid. 1544-46)." Both of these editions are rare.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Of more importance are his four editions of the Greek New Testament, 1546, 1549, 1550, and 1551, the last in Geneva. The first two are among the neatest Greek texts known, and are called O mirificam; the third is a splendid masterpiece of typographical skill, and is known as the Editio Regia; the edition of 1551 contains the Latin translation of Erasmus and the Vulgate, is not nearly as fine as the other three, and is exceedingly rare. It was in this edition that the division of the New Testament into verses was for the first time introduced.</p>
 
 
 
<p>A number of editions of the Vulgate also appeared from his presses, of which the principal are those of 1528, 1532, 1540 (one of the ornaments of his press), and 1546. The text of the Vulgate was in a wretched condition, and his editions, especially that of 1546, containing a new translation at the side of the Vulgate, was the subject of sharp and acrimonious criticism from the clergy.</p>
 
 
 
<p>On his arrival at Geneva, he published a defense against the attacks of the Sorbonne. He issued the French Bible in 1553, and many of John Calvin's writings; the finest edition of the Institutio being that of 1553. His fine edition of the Latin Bible with glosses (1556) contained the translation of the Old Testament by Santes Pagninus, and the first edition of Theodore Beza's Latin edition of the New Testament. He died in Geneva.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Source: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Note:</b> the 1611 AD King James (New Testament) Bible was translated into English primarily from the existing Textus Receptus family of Greek manuscripts. The 1550 AD Stephanus (Greek New Testament) a NT Bible edited by Robert Estienne using the existing Greek Textus Receptus of Desiderius Erasmus and in making his few changes and additions provides a closely matching KJV Greek NT manuscript.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 29</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Tischendorf bible Hoax</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>Constantin von Tischendorf's 1859 AD Codex Sinaiticus, bible Discovery Hoax</h4>
 
 
 
<p>Lobegott Friedrich Constantin (von) Tischendorf (January 18, 1815 - December 7, 1874) was a noted German Biblical scholar. He deciphered [the code] the Codex Ephraemi Rescriptus, a 5th-century Greek manuscript of the New Testament, in the 1840s, and rediscovered the Codex Sinaiticus, a 4th-century New Testament manuscript, in 1859 AD.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Constantin von Tischendorf just a few scant years after the dazzling vision, all three versions of the same vision of Joseph Smith Jr., Tischendorf discovered the remarkable Codex Sinaiticus possibly the oldest and rarest NT Manuscript on the face of the earth - if you can believe it, any of the three versions articulated by Tischendorf.</p>
 
 
 
<p>LDS First Vision by LDS Prophet and Founder Joseph Smith, Jr. 1832 AD</p>
 
 
 
<p>The First Vision, also called the grove experience, refers to a vision that Joseph Smith, Jr. said he received in the spring of 1820, in a wooded area in Manchester, New York, which his followers call the Sacred Grove. Smith described it as a personal theophany in which he received instruction from God. Smith's followers believe the vision reinforces his authority as the founder and prophet of the Latter Day Saint [LDS] movement. According to an account Smith told in 1838, he went to the woods to pray about which church to join but fell into the grip of an evil power that nearly overcame him. At the last moment, he was rescued by two shining "personages" (implied to be Jesus and God the Father) who hovered above him. One of the beings told Smith not to join any existing churches because all taught incorrect doctrines.</p>
 
 
 
<p>Smith wrote several accounts of the vision beginning in 1832, but none of the accounts was published until the 1840s. Though Smith had described other visions, the First Vision was essentially unknown to early Latter Day Saints; Smith's experience did not become important in the Latter Day Saint movement until the early-20th century, when it became the embodiment of the Latter Day Saint restoration. The First Vision also corroborated distinctive Mormon doctrines such as the bodily nature of God the Father and the uniqueness of Mormonism as the only true path to salvation.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p>Piltdown Man Hoax 1912 AD</p>
 
 
 
<p>The Piltdown hoax is perhaps the most famous paleoanthropological hoax ever to have been perpetrated. It is prominent for two reasons: the attention [it] paid to the issue of human evolution, and the length of time, more than 40 years, that elapsed from its discovery to its full exposure [in 1953] as a forgery.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p><small>Sources: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 30</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Douay-Rheims Bible</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>The Douay-Rheims Bible a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English</h4>
 
 
 
<p>The Douay-Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the English College, Douai, in the service of the Catholic Church. The New Testament portion was published in Reims, France, in 1582, in one volume with extensive commentary and notes. The Old Testament portion was published in two volumes thirty years later by the University of Douai. The first volume, covering Genesis through Job, was published in 1609; the second, covering Psalms to 2 Machabees plus the apocrypha of the Clementine Vulgate was published in 1610. Marginal notes took up the bulk of the volumes and had a strong polemical and patristic character. They offered insights on issues of translation, and on the Hebrew and Greek source texts of the Vulgate. The purpose of the version, both the text and notes, was to uphold Catholic tradition in the face of the Protestant Reformation which up till then had overwhelmingly dominated Elizabethan religion and academic debate. As such it was an impressive effort by English Catholics to support the Counter-Reformation. The New Testament was reprinted in 1600, 1621 and 1633. The Old Testament volumes were reprinted in 1635 but neither thereafter for another hundred years.</p>
 
 
 
<p>The Rheims New Testament had an influence on the translators of the King James Version. Afterwards it ceased to be of interest in the [English] Anglican church. The city is now spelled Douai, but the Bible continues to be published as the Douay-Rheims Bible and has formed the basis of some later Catholic Bibles in English.</p>
 
 
 
<p><small>Sources: wiki.com</small></p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Early Bible Unity</b></p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p>King James Version (1611) - Revelation 5:10 And hast made <u>us</u> unto our God kings and priests: and <u>we</u> shall reign on the earth.</p>
 
<p>Douay-Rheims (1899) - Revelation 5:10 And hast made <u>us</u> to our God a kingdom and priests, and <u>we</u> shall reign on the earth.</p>
 
 
 
<p><b>Modern Bible Variances</b></p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p>Modern Catholic Bible - Revelation 5:10 You made <u>them</u> a kingdom and priests for our God, and <u>they</u> will reign on earth.</p>
 
<p>New International Version (NIV) - Revelation 5:10 You have made <u>them</u> to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and <u>they</u> will reign on the earth.</p>
 
<p>English Standard Version (ESV) - Revelation 5:10 and you have made <u>them</u> a kingdom and priests to our God, and <u>they</u> shall reign on the earth.</p>
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h2>March 31</h2>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<h3>Pressing On</h3>
 
 
 
   
 
<h4>Pressing on in Our High Calling in Jesus Christ</h4>
 
 
 
<p>Let's leave Mephibosheth and his unhelpful practices in the pages of history while we ourselves move forward and press on in our High Calling in Jesus Christ.</p>
 
 
 
<blockquote><p>Blessed are the undefiled in The Way, who walk in the law of the LORD. Blessed are they that keep His Testimonies, and that seek Him with the whole heart. They also do no iniquity: they walk in His ways. You have commanded us to keep Your precepts diligently. O that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then shall I not be ashamed, when I have respect unto all Your commandments. I will praise you with uprightness of heart, when I shall have learned Your righteous judgments. I will keep Your statutes: O forsake me not utterly. Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to Your word. With my whole heart have I sought You: O let me not wander from Your commandments. Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD: teach me Your statutes. With my lips have I declared all the judgments of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in <u>The Way</u> of your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate in Your precepts, and have respect unto Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes: I will not forget your word. Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live, and keep Your Word. Open You mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.  <u>I am a stranger in the earth</u>: hide not Your commandments from me. My soul breaks for the longing that it has unto Your judgments at all times. ~ Psalms 119:1-20</p></blockquote>
 
 
 
<blockquote><p>Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 3:12-14</p></blockquote>
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
<p style="text-align: center;">~ ~ ~ ~ ~</p><p>&nbsp;</p>
 

Revision as of 08:54, 12 April 2016

Biblical Significance

Luke 12:49-50 I Am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism [Holy Week - cross - resurrection] to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished! ~ Jesus Christ


Introduction

Getting Started on Our Ten Day Journey with Jesus


Spending Resurrection (Easter) Week with Jesus 2,000 Years Ago


Resurrection Week 2017
Journeying with Jesus the Last 10 Days He was physically on the Earth

Luke 12:49,50 But I am (Jesus) come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism (Crucifixion & Resurrection) to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished (Fulfilled)!

As disciples of Jesus, let's go back with Jesus and the original disciples to revisit and re-live the last week that Jesus spent on earth. This week is also referred to as "Holy Week." The 10 days will be Friday through the next Sunday. To examine the last week we will have to piece together many items and statements from throughout the Bible. As we go back to the original Holy Week, we will travel like students and detectives, searching the scriptures for events and clues that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. We will in actuality be students and detectives of Jesus, searching out Who He is and what His ministry came to accomplish here on earth.

Our first and most substantial clue to the last days of Jesus' visit on earth is the fact that Jesus rose from the dead and that He did it on the first day of the week, Sunday. We find this important information in each of the four gospels. Matthew 21, Mark 16:1,2, Luke 24:1, and John 20:1. Sunday is the first day of the week. We often consider Monday to be the first day of the week but Monday is actually the first workday of the week. A glance at any calendar will confirm that Sunday is listed first in the row with Saturday being the last day of the week. God prescribed in the 10 commandments given by God to Moses on Mt. Sinai, for the last day of the week to be a "Sabbath" or a day of rest Exodus 20:10. The last day, Saturday, of each week is the rest day for every Jew. As detectives we write our first piece of information in the column with the heading of Sunday, "The resurrection of Jesus, from Death to Life." We currently celebrate this day as Easter but the correct name for this day is "Resurrection Sunday."

Next as detectives Matthew 12:40 tells us that Jesus Himself told the Scribes and the Pharisees who were asking of Him to perform a miraculous sign, that indeed a miraculous sign would be given. The sign would be that Jesus would spend three days and three nights in the center of the earth, just like Jonah the prophet spent three days and three nights in the whale's belly, Jonah 1:17. In many places the Bible tells that Jesus was to suffer and die then be resurrected the third day, Matt 16:21, Mark 8:31, Luke 9:32. Counting back from Resurrection Sunday three days and three nights, we now land on the Thursday column as the day of the Crucifixion of Jesus. Traditionally, Friday is celebrated as the day of crucifixion but remember we are journeying back to the original Holy Week to be with Jesus and His original disciples. Knowing that Thursday was the day of crucifixion, we also now know that Wednesday, the day before the crucifixion is the "Lord's Passover Feast" the day that Jesus celebrated the "Last Supper and Communion" with the disciples.

We now have five of our ten days of Jesus' activity known, the Sunday of Resurrection and the Thursday of Crucifixion and the Wednesday of the Last Supper or Passover. Now as detectives we can broaden our horizon of the last week and catch up to Jesus and the disciples. John 12:1 tells us "Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany where Lazarus was." Six days before the Passover on Wednesday will place Jesus at Lazarus' house on the preceding Friday. We can now travel back to the Friday before the Passover and meet with Jesus and the disciples to spend the last Glorious week with Him.

The Original Holy Week

A Timeline, Devotional and Biblical Explanation of the Events of the Original Ten Days of Holy Week


Friday

April 7, 2017

Jesus and His disciples in the village of Bethany

Mark 11:1-3 And when they [Jesus and His Twelve Disciples] came nigh to Jerusalem, unto Bethphage and **Bethany, at the mount of Olives, He sendeth forth two of his disciples, And saith unto them, Go your way into the village [Bethphage] over against you: and as soon as ye be entered into it, ye shall find a colt tied, whereon never man sat; loose him, and bring him. And if any man say unto you, Why do ye this? say ye that the Lord hath need of him; and straightway he will send him hither.


John 12:1-3 Then Jesus six days before the Passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom He raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with Him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.


On our journey to be with Jesus we find that Bethany is located on the Mount of Olives, Luke 19:29, Mark 11:1 and that Bethany is less than 2 miles from Jerusalem John 11:18. Once we walk up the Mount of Olives and ask directions to Lazarus', Mary's, and Martha's house, we would come into a small stone house to find Martha busy working in the kitchen while Mary is seated and at rest beside Jesus. Lazarus whom Jesus had recently raised from the dead John 11:44 was also seated at the table no doubt he had much to talk to Jesus about. If we came in at just the right moment, we would smell the aroma that filled the house as Mary anointed Jesus with almost a pound of very costly Spikenard oil John 12:3. We would hear Judas complain that the expensive ointment was wasted and hear the rebuke of Jesus as He defended Mary and proclaimed that she had committed an honorable act of worship in anointing Him for His coming burial.

Personal Reflection #1

Anointing Oil

Mary Anointed Jesus with very costly and very precious oil. Biblically oil is a symbol of acceptance. To anoint someone is to accept them, to accept them for who and for what they are. Judas on the other hand did not want to bother with anointing Jesus. He didn't even want to be bothered with other people anointing Him. Mary was accepting Jesus. She had accepted that He had come to die for her in her place and was anointing Jesus for His coming burial. The cross of Jesus was something that even the disciples had not yet been able to come to grips with yet Mary had and Mary acknowledged and accepted Jesus for it. Having accepted the gift from Jesus that He was to die in her place for her sins she had now entered into a place of rest and comfort. Rest in that she did not have to work to amend for her own sins and comfort in that all things would be taken care of for her through God who is also King, her King Jesus.

As we begin our walk with Jesus let's pause and reflect (Selah) about acceptance ... are there people in our own lives who we need to anoint and to accept even though we don't understand them? How much could our fellowships gain by this one simple act of anointing one another in the simple affection of acceptance. Anointing others with the precious oil of acceptance can only come from our own rest and security through the knowledge of what Jesus Himself has done and will do for us in our lives.

Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life [eternal] for evermore. ~ Psalms 133:1-3

Are we anointing and accepting of ourselves? Biblically people are allowed to anoint - refresh themselves with oil (Matthew 6:17). In fact it is crucial that we accept ourselves. God has already accepted us. He created us and He is for us. How is it that we can reject what God has already accepted?

Are we anointing and accepting of Jesus? Even today we can anoint Jesus with His precious costly oil of acceptance by accepting His accomplishments in His sacrificial death and eternal resurrection life for us and by trusting in His authority and Kingly rule over and in our lives.

We would like to be bold enough to take the steps to walk where Jesus walks, but it is now evident even on this day, day one, that Jesus does not walk as a human walks but that He walks as God walks. For us to walk with Jesus we are going to have to be bold and remove our focus from others and place it on God.

Old & New Testament Holy Week Prophecies

Therefore thus will I do unto you, O Israel: and because I will do this unto you, prepare to meet your God, O Israel. ~ Amos 4:12

We have also a more sure Word of Prophecy; unto which all of you do well that all of you take heed, as unto a Light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the Day Star [TriUne God - Holy Spirit] arise in your hearts: ~ 2 Peter 1:19


Saturday

April 8, 2017

Palm Saturday the Triumphal Entry of King Jesus into Jerusalem, the Feast of Sabbath is fulfilled

And they brought the colt to Jesus, and cast their garments on him; and He sat upon him. And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down branches off the trees, and scattered them in The Way. And they that went before, and they that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna; Blessed is he that comes in the Name of the Lord: Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David, that comes in the Name of the Lord: Hosanna in the Highest. And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the Temple [only to look around - as the Passover Lamb of God in the House (Temple) of God "a lamb for an house" Exodus 12:3]: and when He had looked round about upon all things, and now the eventide [lit. close of this Saturday Sabbath day] was come, He went out unto Bethany with the Twelve. ~ Mark 11:7-11

Personal Reflection #2

Jesus our Savior, our King, our Friend, our Rest

Psalms 19:1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork.

We too would like to join in with the rocks of Jerusalem and indeed all of creation and declare the glory of our God and King in Christ Jesus and as we do declare the Deity and Honor of Jesus we declare that we to can now rest in His rule and in His Authority.

We rest in Jesus, resting physically, emotionally and spiritually. It is a wonderful accomplishment to be able to cease from worry, fear and anxiety. Few are they that enter into it but blessed are those who do as rest is something to be entered into, it is an achievement, an accomplishment.

Hebrews 4:11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.


Sunday

April 9, 2017


Jesus Cleanses the Temple of Moneychangers

Mark 11:12-17 And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: And seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find anything thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, No man eat fruit of thee hereafter forever. And His disciples heard it. ***And they come to Jerusalem: and Jesus went into the Temple, and began to cast out them that sold and bought in the Temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; And would not suffer that any man should carry any vessel through the Temple. And He taught, saying unto them, Is it not written, My House [the Temple] shall be called of all Nations the House of Prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves.


Personal Reflection #3

Unfruitfulness in Our Own Life

Jesus recognized unfruitfulness and He took action to remove it. Every one of us (unlike Jesus) has an unfruitful aspect in our own life. We too can be bold like Jesus, in that when we see unfruitfulness we can declare it as unacceptable to God and recognize it as a cursed item, not a blessing. In cursing it, curse it at its root so that it will immediately wither and dry up no longer sustaining an appearance of being potentially fruitful but being what it truly is, something that does not give pleasure to God.

Matthew 3:10 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.


Monday

April 10, 2017


The Pharisees dispute the authority of Jesus & the Mt. Olivet discourse is given

Mark 11:20-22 And in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto Him, Master, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God [Jesus].


Mark 13:1-4 And as He went out of the Temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto Him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down. And ***as He sat upon the Mount of Olives over against the Temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, Tell us, when shall these [Kingdom] things be? and what shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?


Personal Reflection #4

Our Ministry of Reconciliation

What is our part in Reconciliation? Jesus came to Reconcile. The very Ministry of Jesus is Reconciliation, reconciling man back into a relationship with God and also reconciling us humans into a relationship with one another.

2 Corinthians 5:18,19 And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us (Christians) to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the Ministry of Reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them, and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.

*The word reconciliation is called the Gospel, the "Good News" of our Life in Jesus as opposed to the sour fact of our death in this earthly world.

The ministry of Jesus is the embodiment of the Cross that Jesus would be crucified on as on the cross Jesus is lifted up - suspended, between Heaven (the dwelling of God) and Earth (the dwelling of man). The vertical post of the cross represents reconciliation between God and Man while at the same time the outstretched - reaching out arms of Jesus and the horizontal beam of the cross represent the reconciliation of one to another. Reconciliation is accomplished only in and by Jesus. There is no other hope for mankind but in Jesus, His Cross and His Resurrection.


Tuesday

April 11, 2017


Judas agrees to betray Jesus


Matthew 26:14-16 Then one of the Twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, And said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver Him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him.

As we awake Tuesday morning we will not go to Jerusalem and the Temple as Jesus had departed the Temple for the last time on Monday. Instead, today we will go with Jesus to Bethany and enter the house of Simon, a leper whom Jesus has previously cured. A woman will anoint Jesus with more oil. Judas will depart to meet with the Jewish leaders to betray Jesus. Judas will receive the promise of thirty pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:2, Matthew 26:15) for promising to deliver Jesus into the hands of the Jewish leaders.

Then one of the Twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the Chief Priests [Annas and Caiaphas], And said unto them, What will all of you give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver. And from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him. ~ Matthew 26:14-16

Satanic Signatures in Judas' Betrayal

There are indications and 'Satanic Signatures' i.e. betraying Jesus on the 13th of Nisan that indicate that Judas Iscariot was never a Disciple and that he had purposely infiltrated the Disciples of Jesus with the sole intention of betraying Jesus.

Jesus answered them, Have not I chosen you Twelve (Disciples - Apostle), and one of you is a devil? He spoke of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray Him, being one of the Twelve. ~ John 6:70

... and Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor. ~ Luke 6:16

Then says one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, which should betray Him, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? This he said, not that he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare [carried the money] what was put therein. ~ John 12:4-6


Personal Reflection #5

Fellowship with the One Who has Cleansed Us

Jesus has returned to spend time with Simon a Leper whom Jesus had previously cleansed. How is it that Jesus would want to visit someone that was previously Unclean? How is it that Simon would trust Jesus? Usually when someone has knowledge of the unclean areas of our life we want to get away from them because we are vulnerable and do not want to be exposed by them for what we were or for what we truly are. Yet Simon welcomed Jesus into his own home and prepared for Him a meal. All throughout the Bible we read how hurting and longing and suffering people have turned to God and have found compassion and healing and like Simon, we too have the privilege of hosting Jesus, the one who has healed us.

Matthew 11:28-30 Come to Me (Jesus), all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest for your Souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.


Wednesday

April 12, 2017


The New Covenant of Jesus. God agrees to die for our sins; therefore death has "Passed us Over." The Feast of the Lord's Passover is fulfilled

Matthew 26:17-20 Now the first day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread [Passover] the disciples came to Jesus, saying unto Him, Where wilt thou that we prepare for thee to eat the Passover? And He said, Go into the city [Jerusalem] to such a man, and say unto him, The Master saith, My time is at hand; I will keep the Passover at thy house with My disciples. And the disciples did as Jesus had appointed them; and they made ready the Passover. Now when the even was come, He sat down with the twelve.


Personal Reflection #6

New Covenant Reflection

The New Covenant - God has agreed to take on the appearance of a Human, to come for us and to die in our place for our sins so that we can Live anew in a new Spiritual relationship with God. God in His Love for us has taken our penalty of death so that we can live in His life of love. With the New Covenant and our New Spiritual Life "All things have become New".

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold All things are become New.

Are we allowing ourselves to live in our newfound Relationship with God and are we allowing ourselves the New Freedom that this relationship has to offer? When Jesus took His Communion cup and offered it to His followers Jesus gave with it the instruction and the invitation to "Drink all of it". Amen - and drink all of it we will.


Thursday

April 13, 2017


Crucifixion and death of Jesus on the cross, providing removal of our sins, the Feast of Unleavened Bread is fulfilled

Matthew 27:1-2 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death: And when they had bound Him, they led Him away, and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the Governor.


Personal Reflection #7

The Cross - A Place of No Compromise

Jesus reached out to us - all the way and without compromise. He didn't compromise as He took on the appearance of a human and entered into our physical realm so that He could interact with us on our level. He entered into our physical level because we are separated from the Holy God on His Spiritual level. We are separated from Him by our sins and it is impossible for God to bring us and the sin that accompanies us into His direct presence, so God in Jesus, came to us in our existence.

In reaching out to us Jesus didn't compromise. He reached out with both arms open and fully extended all the way, even to the cross. Mankind in return didn't compromise as mankind rejected God. Mankind then reaching back with a hammer, nailed both of His open and extended arms onto a wooden cross.

Today it is still our opportunity and our turn to reach out and touch Jesus even though we do not see Him as He is in the Spirit realm like we see one another in the physical realm. We can still come to that place of no compromise and touch Jesus in that no compromising place called faith.

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.


Friday

April 14, 2017


The tomb of Jesus is sealed by the Romans, spices and ointments are purchased and prepared to further anoint the body of Jesus

Matthew 27:62-66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation [for the Feast of Unleavened Bread], the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal Him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch [guards]: go your way, make it as sure [secure] as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure [inventory of the tomb contents], sealing the stone, and setting a watch.


Personal Reflection #8

Man Puts his Seal of Approval on God's Death

Matthew 27:66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure [inventory of the tomb contents], sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

With the death of Jesus comes the Seal of Approval from mankind. You can be certain that Jesus died on the cross and you can be just as certain that the dead body of Jesus was in the tomb on this the next day when the tomb was closed and the seal was placed on it. Certain because mankind would have it no other way than that God, would be declared dead, null, and void.

Oh they sealed the right tomb of death alright but they sealed the wrong object. What they should have placed their seal on is on the death of sin, the sin that has separated mankind from the Holy God for all of these years as God knows and as the Christian knows it is sin that has been declared dead, null, and void and not God.

As we reflect on the death of sin, that the penalty for sin has been removed from us by Jesus, do we really understand that the worst that can possibly happen to us is death from sin? But that Jesus died for us so the worst thing that can happen to us has happened to Jesus as He took our penalty for us. Now with the worst behind us thanks to Jesus, we now have the best and a new opportunity as a new relationship with God is now before us.

Hebrews 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.


Saturday

April 15, 2017

The tomb of Jesus remains sealed, Sabbath day

Luke 23:52-24:1 [Thursday][Crucifixion day] This man, Joseph of Arimathaea, went to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down [from the cross] and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulcher (tomb) that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation [preparation for the evening Sabbath of Unleavened Bread], and the Sabbath [Unleavened Bread, evening Sabbath curfew] drew on. And the women also, which came with Him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld (observed) the sepulcher, and how His body was laid. And they returned (home) and [Friday] [normal Day] prepared (worked & labored) spices and ointments; and **rested the [Saturday][Sabbath Day] Sabbath day according to the commandment [the 4th of the 10 commandments, the weekly Saturday Sabbath]. Now upon the first day of the week [Sunday][Resurrection Day], very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.


Personal Reflection #9

Getting Through the Darkness

It's dark in there; it's a dark and lonely place in those deep dark tombs. Death is dark, and it's dark when we look death in the face. Will the light shine? Will there be life? Will life live and conquer the darkness; the loneliness, the despair, the finality of death? We as humans have to know. We have to know if there is any hope, any permanent existence, any purpose, any reason to life and our existence or if our brief existence here on earth is only a byproduct of some random collision of molecules. Only God - Jesus can answer this question for us and it can only be answered in the Resurrection Life of Jesus as only life can hold the answers to the problems that face mankind.

God has given to us, a long time ago, the answer and His promise in each new day.

In the beginning of creation God created the Physical Light. He created light as a representation for us to see that indeed His true Spirit light of life shines and it does indeed remove the darkness of death. Every time life gets dark just remember the New Day the Sunrise the Resurrection Sunshine from on high as the Sun represents to us the True Son Light, Jesus. God made it that way! The Sun is our daily and momentary reminder of God, of His Son Jesus, of His light, His warmth, His promises, His Life, His Love and His Eternal Resurrection Life for us.

Lamentations 3:21-23 This I recall in my mind, therefore I have hope. It is the Lord's Mercies that we are not consumed, because His Compassions fail not. They are new every morning: Great is Thy Faithfulness.


Easter Sunday

April 16, 2017

The Resurrection of Jesus, the Feast of First Fruits is fulfilled as Jesus gives the First Fruits of the Holy Spirit to His disciples

Matthew 28:1 In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.


Personal Reflection #10

"The Re-birth of Life"

Jesus demonstrates His Authority of Life over death.

Life, our meaning and purpose in it have now been answered once and for all in this the very Resurrection Life of Jesus. We now know that there is a God, that He has power to remove sins and to then give life over death, that He Loves us and that we are made alive to be friends with Him forever in His Eternal Resurrection Kingdom of Heaven.

How can we ever comprehend this joyous event, Life in Jesus, but comprehend it we must as it is the only way to eternal Life.

Romans 1:4 And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the Resurrection from the dead.

Light shines! And with it Life! Jesus is the True Light! Jesus is the Life! God is not dead, God is Alive! Now we too are alive when Jesus breaths His Resurrection Spirit Life into us. Alive and united with the Holy God inside of us, that is Eternal Life!

John 1:3 All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehend it not.

2 Corinthians 4:6 For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ Jesus.


Conclusions

Final thoughts about the Ministry, the Cross and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

After spending ten glorious days with Jesus, we can see that Jesus came to fulfill His plan and in doing so He acted deliberately and decisively. Jesus has a plan and a purpose for mankind and Jesus came to fulfill His plan and is continuing His purpose. Jesus did not meander around like a lost wondering poet nor did He allow the events and passions of the day to dictate His schedule but He remained true and accomplished "All that He came to do." Jesus is God with full knowledge of mankind and of all events.

As we reflect on our visit with Jesus Christ and the disciples, remembering our gaze at the sight of Jesus on the cross and the astonishment of the empty tomb and our joy in meeting the resurrected Savior Jesus Christ, we realize that the Gospel is larger than life and that certainly the Gospel is larger than death. We also realize that the Gospel is much bloodier and even more holy than we can currently comprehend. We do realize that we have a God that loves us very much. We begin to see that the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus from death to life is more glorious and more stunning than anything we can currently understand yet we also realize that in Jesus Christ mankind has a chance, a lifelong opportunity to receive an eternity in heaven that is secure, fulfilling and everlasting.


Source: The Jesus Walk 10 Day Holy Week Timeline Devotion


Leadership Articles

A 5 part Holy Week Leadership Article Series based on the Jesus Walk Timeline Devotion - Presented at iExalt.com from April 2004 to May 2004


Article #1

iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #1 April 4, 2004


The Passion of Leadership (part 1 of 5)
by David Anson Brown


Luke 12:49,50 I (Jesus) am come to send fire on the earth; and what will I, if it be already kindled? But I have a baptism to be baptized with; and how am I straitened till it be accomplished!

Jesus has a Passion for leadership and for His leaders. The Old Testament foretold of God's zeal concerning the fulfillment of His plan for mankind.

Isaiah 9:7 Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The zeal of the Lord of Hosts will perform this ...


As we all know it is not enough to just have Passion for leadership. Caiaphas, Pontius Pilate, Herod and Judas each had a Passion for leadership but as they went on to demonstrate, Passion without knowledge can easily be misdirected and when misapplied to the leadership role the results can be disastrous.


What then is our safety net for the much needed Passions of leadership?


Jesus is the anchor of the leadership soul. Jesus has to be the Passion for our leadership for it is only Jesus who has the knowledge and the understanding of mankind and He knows the fullness of His own plan for salvation, therefore Jesus is the only safety net to the Passions of leadership.

John 18:4 Jesus therefore, knowing all things that should come upon Him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

Whom seek we? ...


Whom does our Passion dictate that we should seek after? Unless our Passion dictates that we seek Jesus than like Herod or like Judas we are setting ourselves up for disaster.


Leadership by definition involves moving people along through one event and circumstance and into another. Good leadership is going to substantiate good results of growth, maturity and endurance encompassing all of the individuals throughout all of the events and circumstances involved.


Because of the rapid succession of the Passion events of Jesus during the Holy week the question could be asked did Jesus get swept up and caught up in a series of events that were bigger than He is or did Jesus in His role of leadership use the series of events to instruct and guide each of us along through our own betrayals, trials and circumstances to bring us into His everlasting resurrection life.


With so much written in each of the Bible's four Gospels about the Passion events of Holy Week the events themselves clearly come into focus as a chain, a series of meaningful connected links connected to establish and fulfill the meaningful events foretold by the Holy Prophets of old. Events that would forever alter the face of history and the destiny of mankind. Clearly these are not just a series of random circumstances but the deliberate and ordained plan of God Himself.


The Passion is a study in the leadership of Jesus Christ as He and the disciples go through one event after another and in the case of the disciples sometimes it is triumph and sometimes it is not a triumph but a momentary failure and regardless of victory or defeat each event is a learning experience for the disciples.


In our own Passion to follow Jesus and to learn from Him, as disciples of Jesus, let's go back with Jesus and the original disciples to revisit and re-live the last week that Jesus spent on earth. This week is also referred to as "Holy Week." The 10 days will be Friday through the next Sunday. To examine the last week we will have to piece together many items and statements from throughout the Bible. As we go back to the original Holy Week, we will travel like students and detectives, searching the scriptures for events and clues that took place nearly 2,000 years ago. We will in actuality be students and detectives of Jesus, searching out Who He is and what His ministry came to accomplish here on earth.


The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.


Next week: Lessons in Leadership from the Fig Tree part 2 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.


God Bless you,
David Anson Brown


Article #2

iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #2 April 11, 2004


Lessons from the Fig Tree (part 2 of 5)
by David Anson Brown


Leadership requires the Passion to get to the root of the matter ...


In our journey with Jesus and the rest of the disciples during the Bible's original Holy Week - Passion events we find that on the very next day after the Triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem that Jesus and the disciples encounter a fig tree that is not capable of producing fruit for God. Finding no fruit, Jesus will then curse the fig tree.

Matthew 21:18-20 Now in the morning as He (Jesus) returned into the city, He hungered. And when He saw a fig tree in the way, He came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward forever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

Jesus' leadership at the fig tree reveals that leadership is not just a surface matter, but in regarding problems Jesus is depicting for us that the correct action is not to merely prune a few branches and then let the problem still exist or to try to make it easier to look at and more appealing, but that leadership involves getting down into the root of the problem and then cutting it off at the root for a total removal of the problem.


Good leadership knows that with a total removal of the burden comes the total freedom of relief from the problem. Good leadership knows that to totally remove the burden, it is the root of the problem that has to be discovered and cut off. But, what not even our good leadership knows is the depths of the root of the problem.


How deep are the roots of the problem? ...

Genesis 3:7,8 ... and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons. And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day: and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God amongst the trees of the garden.

Only Jesus knows the depths of the root of the actual problem.


Jesus, with full knowledge is able to fully access the depth of the root of the problem. In the case of the fig tree, the root of the problem of man seeking to hide himself from our loving God extends all the way back to the original sin of mankind and continues on to this day.


During our journey with Jesus we stand by looking at the fruitless fig tree in amazement as we realize that this Jesus is the same God that Adam and Eve sinned against in the Garden of Eden. They then used the fig leaves in an attempt to cover up the shame of their own sins instead of acknowledging their sin & looking and turning to God, their loving Father to provide the answers to their problems.


Jesus with His cross in view and within days of it is now saying that there are no more self-made, man-made coverings for sin. The covering of sin is to be the blood of Jesus from the cross and not of contraptions derived and stitched together by man.


In fact the system of fig tree religion is now cursed by God. Cursed because fig tree religion never did produce fruit for God and certainly fig tree religion never did lead to eternity.


Jesus as the leader recognized unfruitfulness and He took action to remove it. Everyone one of us (unlike Jesus) has an unfruitful aspect in our own life. Can we be bold like Jesus, and when we see unfruitfulness declare it as unacceptable to God? Can we recognize it as a cursed item and not a blessing? And in cursing it to curse it at its root so that it will immediately wither and dry up, no longer sustaining an appearance of being potentially fruitful but being what it truly is, something that does not give pleasure to God.

Matthew 21:20 ... And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away!

During our own individual companionship with Jesus as He reveals problem areas to us in our life and we begin to remove them at the root we too like the disciples will rejoice and say, "How soon is the fig tree withered away!"


The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.


Next week Lessons in Leadership from the Gardens of God; Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb in part 3 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.


God Bless you,
David Anson Brown


Article #3

iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #3 April 18, 2004


The Gardens of God: Eden, Gethsemane, and the Garden Tomb (part 3 of 5)
by David Anson Brown


During the Passion events of Jesus at the completion of the Last Supper - "The Lord's Passover Feast" and with Jesus now on His way to the infamous Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus begins His Priestly Prayer of intercession for us to the Father. Jesus then commits to His crucifixion and crosses over the brook of Cedron as He proceeds to the Garden of Gethsemane, the Garden of destiny and betrayal.


Leadership is the ability to recognize and to correlate events into a meaningful pattern; a pattern that can display the lessons that the leadership desires to be taught, the valuable lessons are learned and can then be passed on and distributed to others.


The Garden is the ideal place to reveal that God is in control, it was so many years ago that Adam and Eve lost mankind's relationship with God, through their own sin of disobedience, in the original Garden, the Garden of Eden, the Garden of creation.


Had Jesus been arrested anywhere but in a garden, say for instance, in the streets or in the upper-room it would be difficult to correlate the events of the Last Supper to the events of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But since God made certain to go to the Garden we can only correlate these two Garden events and the coming event of the resurrection of Jesus from His Garden Tomb. This again reveals the detailed plan of God as He has set it out for us in His Prophetic word, the Bible from Genesis to Revelation.


On this Passion night as we journey with Jesus we now know why God has not made the Lord's Passover to be a "Rest - Sabbath Feast" like all of the other Holy Feasts prescribed by God to Moses and written down in Leviticus chapter 23 of the Holy Bible. Had the "Lord's Passover Feast" been a rest feast then Jesus and the disciples would have had to remain at home or inside after the feast and could not have legally walked to the Garden of Gethsemane, this Garden of destiny. Had this been a "Sabbath - Rest Feast" it is also very unlikely that the Temple guards would have broken the Sabbath Law themselves to journey to the Garden to arrest Jesus, who after all was only peacefully praying to the Father. This is another powerful demonstration that these events are orchestrated and allowed to happen by God Himself and are not solely the whims of man but instead are completions to the events that were foreseen in the prophetic writings by the prophets of the Old Testament.


It was God that walked during the cool of the evening with Adam and Eve so long ago in the original Garden, the Garden of Eden and now it is God that is stepping into another Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane. This time through His desire and obedience Jesus will continue to restore back the lost relationship between mankind and God, and this time forever.


We follow and see that Jesus is separated from His disciples and engaged in prayer to the Father. Jesus asks for the third time for the Father to remove "this cup" Matthew 26:42 but there is no other "cup" of redemption available to mankind. Either Jesus gives His life for us, or mankind will never be reunited to God.


Angels come and minister to Jesus. He arises. Judas can now be seen leading a group of Temple soldiers intent on arresting Jesus. Judas then betrays Jesus with a kiss, Matthew 26:49. Jesus in turn calls Judas "friend" Matthew 26:50. Jesus is arrested, bound with ropes and led off meanwhile all of the disciples abandon Him and flee.


Two Gardens revealing the destiny of all mankind, the Garden of creation, fellowship and beauty, and the Garden of agony, suffering and betrayal. Yet there is a third Garden of God, a third appointment with destiny, the Garden Tomb where Jesus would physically resurrect from death and begin to establish His new Garden Paradise in those His followers the Christian Church.


The Gardens of God are an invitation a call from God to mankind to walk with God among His Gardens. To walk among the original Creation Garden of Eden and sometimes journeying into the Garden of agony, rejection and betrayal, but always onward and into the glorious Garden of Resurrection and of Eternal Paradise life.


Walking with God does indeed require us to walk along on His path and among the Gardens that He Himself has walked in.


The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.


Next week The Holy - Passion Week Holy Feasts of God part 4 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.


God Bless you,
David Anson Brown


Article #4

iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #4 April 25, 2004


The Passion of Leadership: Holy Week Feasts of God (part 4 of 5)
by David Anson Brown


Leviticus 23:1-2, "And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying, Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the Feasts of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be Holy convocations, even these are my Feasts."

As we already know Leadership requires both Passion and knowledge the passion to do the job and also the knowledge to accomplish the job correctly. In the case of Christian leadership it is required to have some knowledge of the plan and events of God. Fortunately God has carefully spelled out His plan for us in the Bible.


With the Passion events of Jesus being the very definition of Leadership, let's take a look at just what some of the events are that Jesus was fulfilling in His deliberate plan of leadership. We can find a list of the plans of God in the Old Testament in Leviticus chapter 23. This is a list of eight Feast or Holy-Event days given directly from God to Moses and prescribed for the followers of God to follow for all eternity.


Since the Holy Week - Passion events occur on four of the eight Holy Feasts Days and they directly relate to the other four Feasts let's take a look at the Feasts of Holy Week and their fulfillment as Jesus in His leadership role is fulfilling His desired plan for mankind.


A look at the plan of God given in His Holy Feasts ...

Leviticus 23:4, "These are the feasts of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons."

These four Holy Feasts are observed in the First Month of the Jewish religious calendar, occurred during the Holy Week - Passion events and correspond to the First Coming of Jesus.


Feast #1 Sabbath

Sabbath means a complete Rest including one's spirit, soul and body. This is the kind of rest that can only come from having security and trust in God. This rest can only come from having God as our ultimate leader. This feast day is observed and fulfilled in Jesus as He entered into Jerusalem [Palm Sunday] presenting Himself to the world as the rightful ruler and King of the World.

Mark 11:10, "Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."

*Note: In the Greek writing of the Bible it is evident that the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem was accomplished on a Saturday the Sabbath feast day even though today the day is traditionally celebrated on a Sunday (Palm Sunday).


The next two feasts are both celebrated as the one long eight day feast of Passover. The Lord's Passover (1 day) + Unleavened Bread (7 days) = Passover (8 days).


Feast #2 The Lord's Passover

The Lord's Passover is the covenant feast of God whereby God agreed to step into man's predicament of condemnation and death whereby God would take upon Himself the sins of the world and suffer death in order to bring about death to sin. This feast day was observed and fulfilled as Jesus offers His eternal body and His eternal blood to His followers in His New Covenant of Eternal Life given during the Passover Feast. In fulfillment of this feast death has now "passed over" all of those who have entered into this New Covenant relationship with God.

Matthew 26:27-28, "And He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; For this is my blood of the New Testament (Covenant), which is shed for many for the remission of sins."


Feast #3 Unleavened Bread

The Feast of Unleavened Bread is the removal of sin. Leaven (yeast) is a type of a symbol of sin and to remove the leaven is to remove the sin. This feast was observed and fulfilled on the day that Jesus was crucified and died on the cross.

1 Corinthians 5:6-8, "Your glorying {about sin} is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump? Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth."


Feast #4 First Fruits

The Feast of First Fruits according to Leviticus Chapter 23 was to be observed on the first Sunday after the Feasts of The Lord's Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread had been observed and yes, you guessed it! This is the very exciting day that Jesus rose from death (Easter day). This feast has begun to be fulfilled as Jesus breaths the First Fruits of the Holy Spirit - Resurrection Life into each of His new followers.

John 20:19, "Then the same day (Easter Sunday) at evening, .. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you. And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost (Spirit)."

Romans 8:23, "And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body."


Feast #5 Pentecost (Fifty)

Later the Feast of Pentecost would begin as the disciples would again receive of the Holy Spirit this time it will be an actual experiencing of the Holy Spirit as the disciples will individually speak in tongues and observe the flames of fire upon the heads of the other disciples.

Acts 2:1-4, "And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, .."

For a more in depth look at all eight of the feast days please refer to the Jesus Walk 2004 Timeline Devotion.


The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.


Next week Lessons in Leadership from the Communion Cup part 5 of 5 from The Passion of Leadership.


God Bless you,
David Anson Brown


Article #5

iExalt.com Church Leadership Article #5 May 1, 2004


The Passion of Leadership: The Communion Cup of Jesus Christ (part 5 of 5)
by David Anson Brown


Matthew 26:27 "And He (Jesus) took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them (disciples), saying, Drink ye all of it;"

Matthew 26:28 "For this is My blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."

As we have seen in the Leadership of Jesus during the Passion - Holy Week events, the many events didn't just happen to Jesus but in actuality Jesus happened to the events.


In the final analysis Leadership has to have Passion and substance and it has to be a part of reality in order to have meaning. Without meaning nothing is being accomplished except for an opinion, an idea or a philosophy that is simply being taught and not the meaningful life forming substance of reality.


The substance, meaning and reality of Jesus' Passion Leadership is embodied in His Communion Cup the cup, that contains the mercy of God within His eternal blood providing the forgiveness of our sins and the reconciliation of sinful mankind into a relationship with the Holy God.


Jesus taking the cup of redemption, Mark 14:23 and like the bread, giving thanks. Jesus then passed the cup to the disciples and said "take, drink all of it", " this cup is the New Testament in My blood: this do, that as often as you drink of it, do it in remembrance of Me" (Jesus) Matthew 26:27.


The disciples are fully aware that Jesus is speaking of a better blood than man has. He is speaking of His Spiritual life blood. They gladly take the cup of wine and gladly drink all of it. We marvel that Jesus wants us to "Drink all" that He has for us, all of His life, love, healing, compassion, mercy and grace.


Through the New Covenant; God agreed to take on the appearance of a human and to come for us and to die in our place for our sins so that we can Live anew in a new Spiritual relationship with God. God in His Love for us has taken our penalty of death so that we can live in His life of love. With the New Covenant and our New Spiritual Life "All things have become New."

2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold All things are become New."

Christianity is substance and as substance it is to be taken part in. The offer is to take-receive and to drink-absorb it, to internalize what God has for us and to then live out all that God has for us, all of His comfort, security, holiness, boldness and convictions.


While embracing the substance of Jesus' cup of wine, we Christians are to become connoisseurs of the fine wine contained within the cup. We are to savor every drop and to delight in the infinite eternal pleasures to be derived from the exceedingly fine wine all the while discerning even the tiniest hint of man's imperfections that might have been added to the meaningful substance of the communion cup of Jesus.


Christian Leadership knows that the reality of freedom cannot be obtained without actually being free. Therefore, Christian leadership leads us to the eternal blood of Jesus Christ. The blood that He provides, provides our freedom as it is only the eternal blood of Jesus Christ than can provide the resurrection life, liberty and opportunity that comes with a new life in the resurrection relationship with God.


But will we drink of the cup of eternal blood that Jesus is offering to us? ...


Yes, we will drink of it if we see our need for it as the gift of eternal life that God has given to us in His unselfish sacrifice on the cross. Like Jesus our Leader we are to give thanks for the Cup and for the opportunity that is contained within it. It is only through acknowledging our need for it, by recognizing its significance of the eternal life provided by it and by being thankful for what we have received from God, that we will use it and appropriate it into our lives.


Ultimately the leadership of Passion is to give thanks to God by accepting from His hand His cup that He is offering to us and to drink from His cup of Christianity. To take part in Christianity is to partake in God's culture of life, freedom and joy. It truly is God's gift of life, freely given for us and it is from acceptance of this gift that all of our Passion for Leadership then does emerge.


Are we allowing ourselves to live in our new found Relationship with God and are we allowing ourselves the New Freedom that this relationship has to offer? When Jesus took His Communion cup and offered it to His followers, Jesus gave with it the instruction and the invitation to "Drink all of it" Amen! and drink all of it we will.


The Jesus Walk 2004 Holy Week Timeline Devotion is a unique invitation and opportunity to join in and to do just that, to walk with Jesus. I sincerely hope that each of you will take this opportunity to take part in the Jesus Walk 2004 devotion.


Thank you for taking part and being a part of The Passion of Leadership series.


God Bless you,
David Anson Brown


About the author, David Anson Brown is currently the administrator of the BasicChristian.org web site and moderator of the [now closed] Basic Christian discussion forum.


Source: The Jesus Walk 10 Day Holy Week Timeline Devotion


Evangelical Mennonite Confession of Faith

Statements of what Mennonites believe have been among us from earliest beginnings. A group of Anabaptists, forerunners of Mennonites, wrote the Schleitheim Articles in 1527. Since then, Mennonite groups have produced numerous statements of faith. This Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective takes its place in this rich confessional history. The historic creeds of the early Christian church, which were assumed as foundational for Mennonite confessions from the beginning, are basic to this confession as well. ... This confession guides the faith and life of the Mennonite Church and the General Conference Mennonite Church. Further, the Confession of Faith in a Mennonite Perspective is commended to all Christian churches and to those of other faiths or no faith, that they may seriously consider the claims of the Gospel of Jesus Christ from this perspective. May these articles of faith encourage us to hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for the One who has promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23). Praise and thanksgiving be to our God!

This confession is the work of two Mennonite groups in North America, the Mennonite Church (MC) and the General Conference Mennonite Church (GC).

Note: provided as an informative, typical modern Protestant Evangelical Denomination Confessional.


Confession of Faith - Article Summary Statement


1. We believe that God exists and is pleased with all who draw near by faith. We worship the one holy and loving God who is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit eternally. God has created all things visible and invisible, has brought salvation and new life to humanity through Jesus Christ, and continues to sustain the church and all things until the end of the age.


2. We believe in Jesus Christ, the Word of God become flesh. He is the Savior of the world, who has delivered us from the dominion of sin and reconciled us to God by his death on a cross. He was declared to be Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. He is the head of the church, the exalted Lord, the Lamb who was slain, coming again to reign with God in glory.


3. We believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal Spirit of God, who dwelled in Jesus Christ, who empowers the church, who is the source of our life in Christ, and who is poured out on those who believe as the guarantee of redemption.


4. We believe that all Scripture is inspired by God through the Holy Spirit for instruction in salvation and training in righteousness. We accept the Scriptures as the Word of God and as the fully reliable and trustworthy standard for Christian faith and life. Led by the Holy Spirit in the church, we interpret Scripture in harmony with Jesus Christ.


5. We believe that God has created the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, and that God preserves and renews what has been made. All creation has its source outside itself and belongs to the Creator. The world has been created good because God is good and provides all that is needed for life.


6. We believe that God has created human beings in the divine image. God formed them from the dust of the earth and gave them a special dignity among all the works of creation. Human beings have been made for relationship with God, to live in peace with each other, and to take care of the rest of creation.


7. We confess that, beginning with Adam and Eve, humanity has disobeyed God, given way to the tempter, and chosen to sin. All have fallen short of the Creator's intent, marred the image of God in which they were created, disrupted order in the world, and limited their love for others. Because of sin, humanity has been given over to the enslaving powers of evil and death.


8. We believe that, through Jesus Christ, God offers salvation from sin and a new way of life. We receive God's salvation when we repent and accept Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. In Christ, we are reconciled with God and brought into the reconciling community. We place our faith in God that, by the same power that raised Christ from the dead, we may be saved from sin to follow Christ and to know the fullness of salvation.


9. We believe that the church is the assembly of those who have accepted God's offer of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is the new community of disciples sent into the world to proclaim the reign of God and to provide a foretaste of the church's glorious hope. It is the new society established and sustained by the Holy Spirit.


10. We believe that the mission of the church is to proclaim and to be a sign of the kingdom of God. Christ has commissioned the church to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them, and teaching them to observe all things he has commanded.


11. We believe that the baptism of believers with water is a sign of their cleansing from sin. Baptism is also a pledge before the church of their covenant with God to walk in the way of Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit. Believers are baptized into Christ and his body by the Spirit, water, and blood.


12. We believe that the Lord's Supper is a sign by which the Church thankfully remembers the New Covenant [promises of God] which Jesus established by His death [and by His Resurrection of Eternal Life]. In this Communion [togetherness - fellowship] meal, the Church renews its Covenant with God and with each other and participates in the life and death of Jesus Christ, until He comes.


13. We believe that in washing the feet of his disciples, Jesus calls us to serve one another in love as he did. Thus we acknowledge our frequent need of cleansing, renew our willingness to let go of pride and worldly power, and offer our lives in humble service and sacrificial love.


14. We practice discipline in the church as a sign of God's offer of transforming grace. Discipline is intended to liberate erring brothers and sisters from sin, and to restore them to a right relationship with God and to fellowship in the church. The practice of discipline gives integrity to the church's witness in the world.


15. We believe that ministry is a continuation of the work of Christ, who gives gifts through the Holy Spirit to all believers and empowers them for service in the church and in the world. We also believe that God calls particular persons in the church to specific leadership ministries and offices. All who minister are accountable to God and to the community of faith.


16. We believe that the church of Jesus Christ is one body with many members, ordered in such a way that, through the one Spirit, believers may be built together spiritually into a dwelling place for God.


17. We believe that Jesus Christ calls us to discipleship, to take up our cross and follow him. Through the gift of God's saving grace, we are empowered to be disciples of Jesus, filled with his Spirit, following his teachings and his path through suffering to new life. As we are faithful to his way, we become conformed to Christ and separated from the evil in the world.


18. We believe that to be a disciple of Jesus is to know life in the Spirit. As the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ takes shape in us, we grow in the image of Christ and in our relationship with God. The Holy Spirit is active in individual and in communal worship, leading us deeper into the experience of God.


19. We believe that God intends human life to begin in families and to be blessed through families. Even more, God desires all people to become part of the church, God's family. As single and married members of the church family give and receive nurture and healing, families can grow toward the wholeness that God intends. We are called to chastity and to loving faithfulness in marriage.


20. We commit ourselves to tell the truth, to give a simple yes or no, and to avoid the swearing of oaths.


21. We believe that everything belongs to God, who calls the church to live in faithful stewardship of all that God has entrusted to us, and to participate now in the rest and justice which God has promised.


22. We believe that peace is the will of God. God created the world in peace, and God's peace is most fully revealed in Jesus Christ, who is our peace and the peace of the whole world. Led by the Holy Spirit, we follow Christ in the way of peace, doing justice, bringing reconciliation, and practicing nonresistance, even in the face of violence and warfare.


23. We believe that the church is God's holy nation, called to give full allegiance to Christ its head and to witness to every nation, government, and society about God's saving love.


24. We place our hope in the reign of God and its fulfillment in the day when Christ will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead. He will gather his church, which is already living under the reign of God. We await God's final victory, the end of this present age of struggle, the resurrection of the dead, and a new heaven and a new earth. There the people of God will reign with Christ in justice, righteousness, and peace for ever and ever.


[25.] We support God's Covenant Jewish people and the Zionist Nation of Israel.


Copyright © 1995 by Herald Press Scottdale PA 15683. Published by arrangement with the General Boards of the General Conference Mennonite Church and the Mennonite Church. All rights reserved.

Source: mennonitechurch.ca


Resources

The Christian Community Daily Devotional

Basic Christian: Essentials (Zip)



David Anson Brown 11:47, 28 July 2014 (MST)