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Faithful News & Writer's Journey

Welcome to Faithful News & Writers Journey

ashly JuddWelcome! Our hope and desire for Faithful News and Writers Journey is to provide a simple destination for people who love to read about the Bible as well as a means for me to share my thoughts concerning faith-based writing. There is also a Social Discourse category so I can finally comment! Pick your category from the right. You may share your opinions about an article you read from the Facebook link, or email me directly, or, subscribe and then you are allowed to comment.

Gratitude, Anthony

Soul or Spirit?

body soul spiritIS IT SOUL, OR SPIRIT    By Anthony Barbera

Is it Soul or is it Spirit? What is the difference? Or, are they the same. Following is a short explanation of two commonly misunderstood concepts. Let’s clarify. What is the difference between soul and spirit? 1 Corinthians 15:45(KJV) And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.

Every human being has a soul, or, as it is referred to in the Bible, soul life. As a matter of fact, your dog and cat each have soul life. Seriously, we’re not talking about jive dancing and soulful singing. Most assuredly, we were not all born soulful singers and dancers; myself in particular. Just as surely, we all have a soul. Most particularly, that’s soul life, the life that is ebbing through your body and the body of every living man or beast. According to the Bible (that’s where I ascertain truth), the genesis of life is in the blood. Once the being takes its last breath, the soul life of that human being or animal is gone, and, the being is dead. D-E-A-D! Just take a gander at a skeleton a few short months after death. It’s obvious—nobody’s home.

For the life of the flesh [is] in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it [is] the blood [that] maketh an atonement for the soul. (Lev 17:11 KJV)

You’ve noticed that when the blood flows out of a living being, and it isn’t stopped, that being is dying. Ceases to exist. Not true of a plant. Plants have no blood. Therefore, they have no soul life. So sorry to all you tree lovers, of which I am one; trees don’t have a soul, only shade. Now, what about Spirit?

Biblically, Spirit Is Not Soul and Soul Is Not Spirit. This is a common misunderstanding. To obtain spirit, you must ask God to provide it to you by accepting His Son Jesus Christ as Lord in your life. That's what being born again means. Spirit is not thrust against you, as is true when an evil spirit possesses a person. (Human beings and animals can be possessed; trees and plants cannot.) Truly, to have the Spirit of God one must be born from above. That’s entirely true. All men do have a soul, but all men do not have a spirit. The Spirit is a gift from God given to men by way of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and is given to all men freely when they ask to be a son of God.

Men May Have The Spirit Of God—Animals Do Not

For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (Luk 11:10-13 NIV)

God is Spirit. He gives to you Holy Spirit when you ask. That spirit provides both eternal life and, the greatest of all, a part of what He is, His nature. The nature of God is love. So then,  the spirit is not soul and soul is not spirit. All men have soul. All men do not have spirit.

If you know someone whom this would help, please forward it to them!

Love you all!      

Anthony Barbera

Our God is Magnificent

Our God is Magnificent 

Anthony Barbera  8-30-17

planets size

  But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

  (Peter 3:13 NIV)

From corner to corner and from fold to fold, spanning the vast reaches of the galaxy, our heavenly Father knew us before he created the heavens and the earth. All by way of His eternal foreknowledge. The Universe, indescribably vast and timeless, is almost uninhabitable. Except for one unique planet orbiting at a corner of the milky way. A planet made perfectly suited for Elohim's loved ones. Earth.

   Not surprising, without let up, humanity focuses its collective will on all that is unholy. The pure is made to appear insane; the despicable beautiful. Carried out by the disillusioned it is first plotted and planned by Jehovah’s nemesis, Satan.

   The prince of darkness has spent ages honing his skill at distracting mankind from the glory of the God of creation. A magician, Satan foments his ongoing nefarious phantasms. From Cain and Nimrod to Hitler and Stalin—the great deceiver enslaves as many he can to the misery he creates. Pushing away from the glorious victory awaiting those that love God and His most precious son, Jesus Christ. Away from a promise made. Where God and his trustworthy alliance of angels and saints, will with finality utterly destroy the devil and his horde of fallen angels, along with all of the destructive evil spirits that inhabit this dimension.

   The choice given to all men, to align as they see fit, is part and parcel of Free will. Free will requires choice.Rest assured, one event is forthcoming: The glorious state of redeemed humanity

But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? (2 Peter 3:10-12)

Anthony Barbera


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George Müller and Charles Dickens: A Tale of Great Love

George Müller and Charles Dickens: A Tale of Great Love

Charles DickensOne of my very favorite writers is Charles Dickens (left). One of the people I most esteem is George Müller. Almost everyone knows who Charles Dickens was. George Müller, on the other hand, is less well known.

George Müller (the man of prayer) offered a Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them within Ashley Down orphanage in Bristol, England, which he founded in 1836. Of course, Charles Dickens was one of the most acclaimed writers of all time and specifically brought to light the plight of orphans. Surprisingly, George Mueller and Charles Dickens knew each other personally. As a matter-of-fact, they met at least once and were contemporaries in England during the 1800's. Additionally, they both had a great passion for helping poor orphans, which each executed with zeal. Charles Dickens and George Mueller Knew Each Other.

 

Charles Dickens (February 7, 1812–June 9, 1870) and George Müller (September 27, 1805–March 10, 1898) accomplished their goals in very different ways. Charles Dickens spent the better part of his life penning some of the world's classic novels, developing memorable characters, and placing them in life changing plots that highlighted the hapless children, drawing attention to their plights. George Mueller founded orphanages, which ultimately housed and trained thousands of neglected boys and girls.

 George Müller was born in Kroppenstaedt (now Kroppenstedt), a village near Halberstadt in the Kingdom of Prussia. In his early life he was a dishonest rabble-rouser; a thief, a liar, and a cheat. From the time he was ten years old, he was stealing money from his father. As time passed, he also stole from his friends. He finally was arrested and locked up with other thieves and even with murderers. Miraculously, avoiding further trouble, he attended the University of Halle where he met a friend who invited him to a Bible study. During prayer with his friend named Beta, Müller's heart was touched, and it was the start of a new and meaningful life for him.

About the same time, George Müller was praying to begin his first orphanage, Dickens was planning and writing ‘The Pickwick Papers.' Dickens rocketed to fame with the 1836 serial publication of 'The Pickwick Papers,' and within a few short years had become an international literary celebrity. He is best known for his celebrated characters, (of which Scrooge, Tom Thumb, Oliver Twist, Pip and David Copperfield, are but a few.) He possessed a keen perception and understood the dynamic inter-workings of people and society. He expresses life in his novels with humor, satire, and irony. His plots are engaging even to this day.In 1835 there were only a dozen orphan homes in all of England and Wales, but they charged fees to care for the children. Poor children who became orphans had to move in with relatives or were sent to work in the workhouses. Müller began to pray about starting an orphan house. Money began to come in, even though he didn't solicit money from people. His vision was an orphan home for children. Those having lost both parents. None would be turned away due to poverty or race. The children would be educated and trained for a trade.

How Did The Two Meet?

So we come to the ideal, the way in which these two men dealt with a similar plight. We would not presuppose any judgment in this regard. Nor should we. Some have suggested varied ideas concerning Charles Dickens’s faith. Again, that is between him and God. I’d simply like to point out some observations I have made regarding both men’s writing. In most of Charles Dickens’s books, the main character usually delivered from great oppression and evil men is delivered by way of the goodness of another human being. A humanitarian. Charles Dickens encouraged the better nature of mankind toward one another, especially the poor. For the most part, he kept his religious views to himself. (Charles Dickens did, however, write a book for his children, which he didn’t want published entitled: The Life of Our Lord. For whatever reason, very few of his characters ever look to God for assistance. They rely on the goodness (or badness) of the human soul. One of my favorite Dickens' characters is from David Copperfield: Betsy Trotter. The aunt starts out in the story as a biting, overbearing and insolent woman; later, she is transformed into one of the kindest and most perceptive and insightful of all people. Charles Dickens faced the perils of his time as a true "humanitarian" many times giving to groups and charities which helped the needy. He knew how to convey the depth of human motivation.

Charles Dickens heard a rumor that the children in Müller's care were starving, so he went to Ashely Down to see for himself. He was so impressed with the good care that the children were receiving that he wrote articles for his very popular weekly newspaper column entitled: ‘Household Words.' On November 7, 1857, he posted a very encouraging article entitled: BROTHER MULLER AND HIS ORPHAN-WORK. (We include it here for your enjoyment). It must have been a great help to George Müller, in that Charles Dickens by this time was well read and very popular. Of further insight, George Müller refused to ever ask anyone for money for his orphanages. His means were to be met, from the very beginning, in a unique way: If God wanted this work done, God would supply all their need. Like Charles Dickens, English writer and social critic, as generally regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian period and the creator of some of the world's most memorable fictional characters, so, George Müller was noted and regarded as a man of great faith and prayer.

Life of Our Lord

George Müeller, in addition to caring for over 10,000 orphans, also paid for the printing of Bibles and tracts as well as the Christian education of thousands of children. His organizations gave away more than 250,000 Bibles. He paid tuition for hundreds of children to go to school. During his lifetime he raised the equivalent of $7,000,000 which he gave away, and when he died, he had only a little money left. He never really needed it. As far as George Müller was concerned: Every good thing came from God. Müller prayed about everything and expected every prayer to be answered.

With Affectionate Regards,

Anthony Barbera

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bible Timeline (Biblical Helps)

                                                      Bible Timeline (Biblical Helps)

 CHRONOLOGICAL TABLE BELOW (used by Permission of Goodnews Christian Mnistry World Wide Web Home Page:

http://goodnewspirit.com + Bible Charts & Maps LLC

Amazing Bible Timeline – Amazing Bible Timeline with World History

3761 B.C.

  • According to Jewish tradition, the date Adam & Eve were created in the Garden of Eden.
    The Jewish New Year is based on this date.
    (October, 1997 for instance, will be the year 5758 in the Jewish calendar).

Between 3740 B.C. & 2500 B.C.

  • Cain, Able and Seth are born to Adam and Eve.
  • Cain kills Able, and is exiled to forever wander the eastern 'land of Nod'.
  • The Patriarchs before the flood, including Enoch and Methuselah, all live to great ages.
  • The flood destroys Eden and all the ancient ones.
  • Noah and the ark.
  • Noah's 3 sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem repopulate the earth after the flood.
  • Destruction of the tower of Babel causes the dispersion of Babylon's population -- sending it to the ends of the earth.
  • The descendants of Japheth, populating Greece, Parthia, Russia and northern Europe.
  • The descendants of Ham populating Africa and Egypt.
  • And the descendants of Shem forming the Semetic people of the Middle East, including the Arabs and the House of Israel.

About 1850 B.C.

  • Abraham and his family arrive in Canaan.

Between 1849 B.C. and 1750 B.C.

  • Hagar, Abraham's slave mistress gives birth to Ishmael.
  • Hagar and Ishmael banished from Abraham's camp and return to Euphrates river area.
  • Ishmael's blood descendants form the Arabs, but all muslim's, including the Persians, trace ancestry to Abraham through Ishmael as well.
  • In her 90's, Sarah gives birth to Issac.
  • Issac's wife gives birth to Esau and Jacob.
  • Esau sells his birthright to Jacob for a bowl of lentils.
  • Jacob wrestles with an angel so God changes his name to 'Israel' (A rebel allowed to survive).
  • Jacob (Israel) has 12 sons: Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamine.

From about 1720 B.C. to 1250 B.C.

  • Joseph, Jacob's youngest son, sold into slavery (to Egypt) by his brothers.
  • Joseph has two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
  • Joseph saves his father and his 10 brothers from famine -- making a home for them in Egypt.
  • Joseph elevated to Patriarch, removing him from the other tribes of Israel.
  • Jacob elevates Ephraim and Manasseh to same status as his sons, creating the 12 tribes of Israel (13 tribes, actually, but Levi was elevated to status of priesthood, leaving 12 to divide up the land).
  • Hebrew captivity in Egypt (Lasts about 500 years).

1250 B.C.

  • Moses leads the exodus.

Beginning about 1210 B.C.

  • The 12 tribes of Israel reach the Promised Land.
  • Joshua invades Palestine.
  • The time of the Judges (This period lasts 200 years).
  • The temple at Shiloh (The first Hebrew temple in the Promised Land).

1040 B.C.

  • The birth of Samuel the prophet.

1000 B.C.

  • David becomes king of Judah.
  • David defeats Saul & reigns as king over all Israel.

950 B.C.

  • Solomon, David's son made king of Israel.
  • The Temple of Solomon built in Jerusalem.

931 B.C.

  • Solomon dies.
  • The fight for his throne begins, creating the Great Schism.
    As a result, the 12 Tribes of Israel split into 2 houses.
  • The House of Israel (the 10 northern tribes).
  • The House of Judah (the 2 southern tribes-Benjamine & Judah).

740 B.C.

  • The call of the prophet Isaiah.
  • Appearance of the prophet Micah (740-736 B.C.)

721 B.C.

  • The House of Israel (the 10 northern tribes) are taken into captivity by Assyrian invaders.
  • They disappear into the lands across the North, vanishing from world view.

630 B.C.

  • Appearance of the prophet Zephaniah.

627 B.C.

  • Call of the prophet Jeremiah.

600 B.C.

  • The prophet Habakkuk

598 B.C.

  • The tribes of Judah and Benjamin taken to Babylon.
    • Jehoiachin, king of the Jews, reigned for only 3 months.
    • He and his mother were exiled to Babylon in 598 B.C. (Jer 13:18)
    •  
  • The prophets Jeremiah & Ezekiel.
  • Jeremiah takes the Ark of the Covenant to the Dead Sea & buries it in a cave.

587 B.C.

  • On the 10th of Loos, Solomon's temple burned down by Nebuchaddnezzar of Babylon.
    (Note that Herod's temple will be burned down on the very same day, 657 years in the future).
  • More deportations to Babylon

562 B.C.

  • The new king of Babylon, Evil-merodach, pardons Jehoiachin, the king of the Jews, and releases him from prison.
    • Invites king Jehoiachin to eat with him at the kings table in Babylon.
    • He treated him kindly and allotted him a seat above those of the other kings who were with him in Babylon.
    • So Jehoiachin laid aside his prisoner's garb, and for the rest of his life always ate at the king's table.
    • And his upkeep was permanently ensured by the king for the rest of his life day after day until his dying day.
    • The pardon occurred in the 37th year of the Babylonian exile, on the 25th day of the 12th month.
  • The antitype of this pardon occurred when the Roman emperor Constantine issued the "Edict of Milan" in 313 A.D.

539 B.C.

  • The handwriting on the wall.
  • Cyrus the Persian conquers Babylon.

538 B.C.

  • The Edict of Cyrus freeing the Jews from Babylonian captivity.

537 B.C.

  • The second Jerusalem temple started.
  • The walls rebuilt.

530 B.C.

  • Daniel the Prophet in the court of the king of Babylon.

520 B.C.

  • The Second Temple built (after return from Babylon) 520 - 515 B.C.
  • The Prophet Zechariah
  • The Prophet Haggai

400 B.C.

  • Ezra and Nehemiah.

340 B.C.

  • The Books of Chronicles
  • The Prophet Joel

333 B.C.

  • The prophet Jonah
  • Tobit

331 B.C.

  • Alexander the Great conquers Syria and Arbela; ends the Persian empire.

323 B.C.

  • Alexander the Great dies in Babylon (present-day Iraq).

319 B.C.

  • Judea ruled by Egypt (the Lagides).

270 B.C.

  • The Greek Bible (Septuagint) translated at Alexandria Egypt by 70 Hebrew scholars.
    This translation was authorized by the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem in order to give Jewish exiles a scripture in the language of their exile.

250 B.C.

  • Active Hellenization of Palestine.
  • The Book of Esther
  • The Book of Ecclesiastes

197 B.C.

  • Antiochus III (the Great) conquers Jerusalem.
  • Judea ruled by Syria (The Seleucids).

189-88 B.C.

  • Antiochus the Great defeated at Magnesia by the western general Scipio.
  • His son Antiochus IV Epiphanes held hostage in Rome

187 B.C.

  • Antiochus the Great killed during the pillage of the temple of el at Elmais
  • Seleuces IV Philopator (son of Antiochus the Great & brother of Antiochus IV) becomes king.
  • Onias is high priest of the Temple in Jerusalem. ("righteous & beloved" by the Jews)

175 B.C.

  • Heliodorus assassinates Seleuces IV Philopator.
    • Killing masterminded by Seleuces' brother, Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
  • Antiochus IV Epiphanes comes to power.
    • "Type" of the beast of the last days.
  • Jason (brother of Onias), bribes king Antiochus IV, who appoints him high priest in place of Onias.
    • Bribe includes money & offer to "Hellenize" Jerusalem.
  • Jason introduces Greek reforms into Jerusalem ­ Greek games, gods, Gymnasium.
  • Jerusalem Hellenized. The people divided.

172 B.C.

  • Menelaus, a worse Antiochus-friendly priest, bribes Antiochus & is appointed high priest in place of Jason.
  • Onias, High Priest of Jerusalem is murdered. His assassination ordered by Menelaus.
    • This is the "type" of the assassination of the High Priest in the last days (2 Thes. 2:7; Dan.9:26)
    • (See also, Lucia's visions at Fatima)

167 B.C.

  • The Great Persecution of the Jews begins.
  • Massacres at Jerusalem.
  • The Syrians build the Citadel to control the temple.
    • The Citadel later named the "Antonia Fortress" at time of Christ.
  • Decree issued abolishing Jewish practices and establishing cult of Zeus in Temple.
    • This is the "type" of the future Persian decree (2 Chron. 36:22-23) that ends the Diaspora
  • In December (the 25th day of Chislev), the first pagan sacrifices abominate Jewish altar.
    • The Abomination of Desolation set up

166 B.C.

  • Antiochus massacres Jews in Jerusalem, pillages Temple treasury.
  • The priest Mattathias takes refuge in Modin with his five sons (The Maccabees).
  • Mattathias gives the signal for the attack. The Hassidaeans join him.
  • Judas Maccabaeus leads the revolt after Mattathias dies.

164 B.C.

  • In December (Chislev 25), the temple is purified by Judas Maccabees
    • Hannukah ­ This date gives birth to the Jewish feast of Lights
    • Christmas Day ­ It is on this date that the Church celebrates Christ's birth, the true purification of God's Temple.
  • The Jewish persecution ends.
  • Death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.
  • The Book of Daniel in its present form.

145 B.C.

  • The Pharisees, Sadducees and Essenes appear.

63 B.C.

  • Pompey of Rome conquers Jerusalem.

50 B.C.

  • Ben Sirac writes the Book of Ecclesiasticus

37 B.C.

  • Herod, an Idumean Arab, appointed king of Judea by the Roman Senate.

31 B.C.

  • Augustus becomes emperor of Rome.

20 B.C.

  • Herod begins construction of great Jewish Temple on Mt. Moriah in Jerusalem.

6 B.C.

  • Birth of Jesus in Bethlehem. (About 6 B.C.)
  • Massacre of the Innocents by Herod.
  • Joseph & Mary take Jesus to Egypt.

4 B.C.

  • Herod the Great dies (March/April 4 B.C.).
  • Joseph & Mary leave Egypt and take Jesus to Nazareth in Galilee, settle there.

6 A.D.

  • Caesarea, a town on Mediterranean coast, made capital of Judea by the Romans.
  • Jesus (12 years old).questions the scholars and doctors of the Law for 3 days in Jerusalem. ­Lk. 2:41-50

14 A.D.

  • Augustus dies; Tiberius becomes emperor of Rome.

27? A.D.

  • John the Baptist starts his ministry.
  • Jesus begins his ministry.

30? A.D.

  • Jesus crucified April 8, 30 A.D. (36 years old?)
    (The crucifixion of Jesus occurred either April 8, 30 A.D. or April 4, 33 A.D. Most scholars favor 30 A.D.).

36 A.D.

  • Martyrdom of Steven in Jerusalem.

37 A.D.

  • Tiberius dies; Caligula becomes emperor of Rome

39 A.D.

  • Paul in Damascus.

41 A.D.

  • Caligula assassinated; Claudius becomes emperor of Rome

43 A.D.

  • Paul and Barnabus in Antioch.
  • Agrippa beheads James; imprisons Peter.

48 A.D.

  • Christian Council of Jerusalem.
  • Pagan converts exempt from Jewish Law practices, setting them free from the Torah.

50 A.D.

  • First Gospel written down?
  • Paul's letter to the Thessalonians.

54 A. D.

  • Nero becomes emperor of Rome.

57 A.D.

  • Paul's First Letter to the Corinthians.
  • Paul's Letter to the Galatians.
  • Paul's second Letter to the Corinthians.
  • Paul's letter to the Philipians?

58 A.D.

  • Paul's letter to the Romans.
  • James made head of the Jerusalem church.

60 A.D.

  • Paul's voyage as a prisoner to Rome.

61 A.D.

  • Paul imprisoned in Rome ­ remained incarcerated there until 63 A.D.
  • Paul's Letters to Colossians, Ephesians, Philemon, possibly Philipians.
  • Acts of the Apostles; Gospel of Luke (between 61 and 63 A.D.)

62 A.D.

  • James (head of Jerusalem church) stoned to death.
  • Succeeded by Simeon, said by some to be the son of the Virgin Mary's brother.

63 A.D

  • Paul set free. Some traditions say he made a trip to Spain.

64 A.D.

  • First letter of Peter.
  • The Gospel of Mark?

65 A.D.

  • Paul's first letter to Timothy and Possibly to Titus.
  • The Gospel of Luke and the Acts of the Apostles?
    Scholars say that this Gospel and the Acts of the Apostles were produced as Paul's defense against a renewed attack on Christianity by Nero.

66 A.D.

  • Jews defeat a Roman battalion and set up a rebel government in Jerusalem.
  • Major exodus of people of importance from Judea.
  • A great fire, said to have been lit by Nero destroys most of Rome;
  • Nero blames large Christian community in Rome for the fire: launches purge of Roman Christians.

67 A.D.

  • Peter crucified in Rome. (64 or 67 A.D.)
  • Vespasian with 60,000 man Roman 10th Legion attacks Galilee.
  • Paul re-imprisoned in Rome.
  • Paul's letter to the Hebrews.
  • Second letter to Timothy.
  • Paul beheaded in Rome.

68 A.D.

  • Nero commits suicide.

69 A.D.

  • Vespasian returns to Rome to become emperor in Nero's place.
  • Before leaving his post on the Mt. of Olives, Vespasian Turns the battle of Jerusalem over to his son Titus.

70 A.D.

  • Titus lays siege to Jerusalem and destroys it.
  • On August 29 (the 10th of Loos - and the 567th anniversary of the destruction of Solomon's temple), the temple of Herod is burned and razed to the ground by Roman forces.
  • Many Jews taken into slavery.

73 A.D.

  • The siege of Masada.
  • The Jewish war ends.
  • Jewish Rabbi's establish Academy of Jamnia, soon begin work on standardizing Hebrew Bible.
  • Also begin work on Talmud, codifying Jewish oral law into writing.
  • Greek (Old Testament) scriptures officially renounced by Jewish Rabbi's.

95 A.D.

  • John exiled to Patmos.
  • Final draft of Book of Revelation.

100 A.D.

  • John dies at Ephesus.

107 A.D.

  • Simeon martyred in Jerusalem.

132 A.D.

  • Second Jewish revolt led by Jewish zealot, Simeon Ben Koseba,
  • Ben Koseba is proclaimed the Jewish 'Messiah' by Rabbi Akiba who renames him 'Bar Kokeba' (Son of the Star).

135 A.D.

  • Second revolt put down by Roman army.
  • Ben Koseba killed.
  • Jews forbidden to enter the city of Jerusalem on pain of death.
  • The Temple mount in Jerusalem made into a sanctuary for Zeus and Hadrian. (emperor worship).
  • Temple of Zeus erected near cave at Bethlehem -- the birthplace of Jesus.

311 A.D.

  • Galerius, eastern Roman emperor, decrees religious toleration for Christians.

313 A.D.

  • Constantine issues Edict of Milan granting toleration to Christianity in western Roman empire.
  • Constantine becomes Christian, is the first Christian emperor.
  • Constantine's mother erects Christian churches (including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre) on sacred sites in Jerusalem.

325 A.D.

  • Council of Nicea decrees the doctrine of the Trinity to counter the heresy of Arius which argues that Jesus, though divine, is not God's equal.

391 A.D.

  • Theodosus orders all Roman pagan temples closed.
  • He issues a proclamation declaring Christianity the official religion of the Roman empire.
  • The eastern emperor, Galerius, issues an identical proclamation from Constantinople.
  • World paganism is outlawed.
  • Theodosus' decree terminates the Olympic Games and the temples associated with them at Mt. Olympus.
    From this moment on, the only god permitted to be worshipped anywhere in the entire Roman empire is the God of the Christians.

410 A.D.

  • German invaders conquer Rome. They adopt Christianity.

476 A.D.

  • Western Roman empire ceases to exist.
  • Barbarian rule of Rome by German kings begins.
  • Converting to Christianity, these kings extend the domain of the Church into northern Europe,
    dissolving the Teutonic and Celtic religions that formerly ruled there.

615 A.D.

  • Persian Sassanid Empire conquers much of the Eastern Roman Empire.
  • Their armies reach the Bosphorus (separating Turkey from Europe), before being driven back and defeated.

632 A.D.

  • Mohammed dies. Muslim religion born.

650 A.D.

  • Muslim Arabs sweep to victory in a great march west to destroy the 'infidels' of Christianity.
  • Arabs conquer Mesopotamia, Persia, Palestine, Egypt and the islands of the Mediterranean.
  • Arabs push west, conquer North Africa.
  • Arabs unable to conquer Asia Minor (Turkey).

711 A.D.

  • Arabs conquer Spain, push into France.
  • Arabs defeated by Christian's in France at battle of Tours (732).

800 A.D.

  • Germany's king Charles the Great (Charlemagne) founds the Holy Roman Empire.

859 A.D.

  • Muslim Arabs conquer Sicily and invade Italy, advancing toward Rome before being pushed back.

1054 A.D.

  • Greek Orthodox and Roman Catholics split into two separate churches.
  • East and West divided in Christ.

1071 A.D.

  • Greek Orthodox Church decimated by Muslim invaders:
  • Seljuk Turks invade and conquer Asia Minor, renaming it Turkey.
  • Eastern capitol city, "Constantinople" captured & renamed "Istanbul".
  • They convert Asia Minor to Mohammedism, reducing territory of Greek Christian church by half.
  • This Islamic 'Ottoman empire' invades Europe but is finally stopped after reaching as far north as Vienna, Austria.

1096 A.D.

  • First Crusades begin.
  • Christian wars against Islamic control of Jerusalem.

1099 A.D.

  • Crusaders capture Jerusalem, give Christians control of the holy city.

1187 A.D.

  • Saladin recaptures Jerusalem, returning city to Islamic rule.

1291 A.D.

  • Christian Crusaders lose battle of Acre; leave entire Middle East to Muslim rule.

1492 A.D.

  • Columbus discovers American continent.

1517 A.D.

  • Luther, a Catholic priest in Germany, breaks from Roman Catholic church; posts 'thesis' on church door.
  • Luther decrees salvation by faith alone. Says theological rules cannot save.
  • He nullifies church sacraments.
    Luther puts Bible above both church and Pope as highest authority on earth.
  • Decrees right of individual interpretation of scripture.
  • He rejects the Greek Old Testament and declares its books invalid.

1529 A.D.

  • Lutheran Protest drawn up. Protestant churches born.

1545 A.D.

  • Catholic Council of Trent (1545-1563) tries to reform Roman church and quell the protest, but to no avail.
  • This Vatican Council decrees faith necessary, but retains church sacraments as essential components of the Christian religion.

1563 A.D.

  • The great Christian Civil War begins:
  • Fierce religious wars between all the burgeoning new faiths spreads throughout Europe (1563-1648).
  • Colonization of America speeded by those seeking freedom from European religious turmoil.
  • Democracy (an ancient Greek form of rule by the people) rediscovered.

1775 A.D.

  • Constitutional Congress in America led by Thomas Jefferson restates a secular 'rule of Democracy' that is closely allied with Christian human rights ethics.

1776 A.D.

  • United States of America founded.

1827 A.D.

  • The idea of the "rapture" born.
  • John Nelson Darby of the Plymouth Brethern, the father of "Dispensationalism", issues his doctrine called "the rapture" claiming there are to be not one, but two "second comings."

1830 A.D.

  • Mormon church founded by Joseph Smith in Fayette N.Y.

1859 A.D.

  • Charles Darwin publishes "The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection".
    • His work revolutionizes biological science.

1865 A.D.

  • American Civil War (1861-1865) ends. Slavery abolished nationwide.
    • Almost 500,000 Americans killed.
  • U.S. President Abraham Lincoln assassinated.

1896 A.D.

  • Olympic Games reappear in the world.
    They had been absent since the Roman emperor Theodosus (in the name of Christianity) cancelled them and closed their associated pagan temples in 396 A.D.(1500 years earlier)

1901 A.D.

  • Modern fundamentalism. Baptist Pentecostal movement profoundly changes the face of Protestant Christianity by producing figures like Aimee Semple MacPherson, Billy Sunday and Billy Graham. Loosely knit, a splinter outgrowth later gains world-wide 24-hour a day audience with TBN television network. Impact on modern Christianity enormous.

1903 A.D.

  • Airplane invented. Orville and Wilbur Wright.

1908 A.D.

  • Comet strikes Russia. Thousands of miles of forest levelled.

1914 A.D.

  • Germany leads the planet into world war (the first world war in history).

1917 A.D.

  • British (Allenby) captures Jerusalem -- Islamic rule in Palestine ends as Turkish Ottoman empire is destroyed.
  • Balfour Treaty allows Jews to return to Holy Land ending 1800 year lockout.
  • May 13, first of 3 Fatima visions occurs.
    • In the first, Lucia forsees that WW I will end and be followed by WW II
    • In the second, she is commanded to order everyone to pray for the conversion of Russia
    • In the third, kept secret by the Vatican for over 80 years, she forsees the assassination of the Pope.
  • Oct. 25, Communists sieze power in Russia, set up secular, anti-christ state.
  • USA declares war on Germany

1918 A.D.

  • 1918 Pandemic flu kills 50 million people worldwide.
  • Germany defeated. World War 1 ends (Nov. 11).

1929 A.D.

  • Mussolini secularizes Italy, evicting church from state government.
    • Coins phrase, "Separation of church and state".
    • Forms Vatican City as symbol of the separaton.
    • This action sets stage for the cancellation of Constantine's Edict of Milan
    • Cancels Theodosus' decree in the site where it originated - the Roman capitol.
  • A great depression sweeps the world.

1930 A.D.

  • Secular, totalitarian regimes rise to power throughout Europe and Asia (Spain, Russia, Germany, Italy, Eastern Europe, China, Japan, etc) as Christian authority is stripped from most world governments.

1933 A.D.

  • Adolph Hitler comes to power in Germany.
    • "Seventh head" of the beast.

1939 A.D.

  • Adolph Hitler leads Germany and the world into a second world war.
  • The 'Jewish Holocaust' begins.
    • Targeting House of Israel, Hitler executes over 9 million Jews

1941 A.D.

  • Japan makes World War II global by attacking the west at Pearl Harbor and assaulting southeast Asia ­Dec.7th.
    This is the first major eastern attack on western civilization in almost a thousand years.
    U.S. declares war on Germany and Japan.

1945 A.D.

  • Atom Bomb invented and dropped on two Japanese cities by the United States.
  • World War II and the Jewish Holocaust come to an end.

1947 A.D.

  • UN General Assembly votes to partition Palestine into two states: one Jewish; the other Palestinian.
  • 'Cold War' begins ­ Pits communism against democracy.
  • World civilization alerted to 'doomsday clock' ­ with hands near midnight.
    Clock.created by atomic energy scientists, not religious zealots.

1948 A.D.

  • May 14 - Jewish nation of Israel founded by U.N. mandate.

1949 A.D.

  • Jordan occupies the West Bank; Egypt occupies Gaza. Neither grant Palestine autonomy to the lands.

1950 A.D.

  • Korean War begins. Atheist (communist) north invades South Korea.

1953 A.D.

  • Hydrogen bomb invented. Several exploded in S.Pacific.
  • Thousands are stockpiled in underground silo's as massive arms race with Soviet Union gains speed.
  • The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists advances the hands on its 'doomsday clock' up to a point only 2 minutes before midnite.

1954 A.D.

  • Supreme Court orders school desegregation

1957 A.D.

  • Federal troops sent into Little Rock Arkansas to enforce Federal desegregation order .

1960 A.D.

  • World population reaches 3 billion people.

1963 A.D.

  • June 17 - U.S. Supreme Court.outlaws God and prayer from American.public school system. (Vote is 8-1)

"...the nation and kingdom that refuses to serve you shall perish,.
such nations shall be utterly ruined." (Is.60:12)

  • Aug 28 - Martin Luther King leads freedom march to Washington D.C. Delivers "I have a Dream" speech.
  • Nov. 23 - U.S. President John F. Kennedy assassinated.
  • Dec. 31 - U.S. presence in Vietnam numbers 15,000 "advisors".

1964 A.D.

  • March 27 - Good Friday. At 5:36 PM, the nation's largest earthquake ever recorded (9.2 on the Richter scale) struck Alaska. It was followed by giant tidal waves that lethally inundated the Pacific Coast from Alaska to California. Striking midway through the 11th hour, the Alaska event occurred just 9 months after the United States outlawed God and prayer from all of America's schools, and 4 months after John Kennedy's assassination. The nine months seems to underscore a message that the nation's official rejection of God had conceived and given birth to grave catastrophe, presaging all that is destined to follow (Jer.44:29-30). Good Friday is the day Jesus died on the cross to put God and prayer INTO the schools (Is.2:2-3; Zech 9:9-10; Is. 60:12).
  • August 7 - Gulf of Tonkin incident leads U.S. into Vietnam War.
    • Congressional resolution gives President Lyndon Johnson a free hand to direct war if, & as he pleases.
    • Massive deployment of American troops ordered into Vietnam.
  • Palestine Liberation Organization formed (with avowed purpose to destroy Israel).
  • Martin Luther King wins Nobel Peace Prize

1965 A.D.

  • U.S. President Lyndon Johnson orders U.S. Marines into South Vietnam - Mar. 8th
  • Troops number 184,300 at years end.

1966 A.D.

  • Drug crises sweeps America.
    • Millions of youth begin using marijuana, heroin, LSD, etc.
  • Vietnam War rages on.
    • B-52's begin bombing raids on North Vietnam. (April 12)
    • Troops number 385,300 by years end.

1967 A.D.

  • Israel's 6-day war
    • Israel occupies the Sinai Peninsula; the Gaza Strip; the West Bank and the Golan Heights of Syria ­June 5
  • Vietnam War rages on.
    • Troops number 475,000 at years end. Casulties enormous.
    • Protests at home escalate.

1968 A.D.

  • Martin Luther King assassinated - Apr. 4
  • U.S. Senator Robert Kennedy assassinated - June 5
  • Vietnam War rages on.
    • Anti-war protests at Democratic Convention turn Chicago into armed camp.
    • Tanks roll through the city.

1969 A.D.

  • July 20 - U.S. astronauts land on the moon.
  • Vietnam War rages on.
    • Troops reach peak of 543,400 in April
    • Anti-war protests also reach peak
    • 250,000 marched in Washington D.C. -Nov.15

1972 A.D.

  • Vietnam War rages on.
  • Watergate break-in
    • climaxes President Nixon paranoia over Vietnam war protests & re-election concerns.

1973 A.D.

  • U.S. Supreme Court legalizes abortions (Roe vs. Wade). ­Jan. 22
  • Vietnam War ends after 9 years; over 50,000 Americans dead, 153,000 wounded. ­Jan. 27
  • Yom Kippur war. Egypt and Syria launch unsuccessful invasion of Israel ­ October 6
  • Israel occupies (annexes) Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, Jordan's West Bank, and Syria's Golan Heights.

1975 A.D.

  • Communists drive American presence out of Vietnam in chaotic retreat.

1977 A.D.

  • Menachim Begin elected Prime Minister of Israel.
  • Begin staunchly favors Ariel Sharon's plan for building Israeli settlements in Arab lands.
  • Israel's settlement construction in Egypt's Sinai and Jordan's West Bank begins slowly.

1978 A.D.

  • March, Israel invades south Lebanon, but withdraws in favor of 6000-man UN force.
  • Pope John Paul II of Poland elected first non-Italian Pope. Greatly charismatic.

1979 A.D.

  • Israel under Menachem Begin and Egypt under Anwar Sadat sign peace accord brokered by US President Jimmy Carter at Camp David. The treaty ended 30 years of war. Egypt affirms Israel right to exist. ­March 26
  • Iran under Ayatollah Khomeini invades U.S. embassy in Tehran, holds 93 captive ­Nov. 4

1980 A.D.

  • Mt. St. Helens erupts, explodes. ­May 18
  • Israel annexes East Jerusalem, claiming the entire city, and affirming the whole of Jerusalem as its capitol. ­July

1981 A.D.

  • Ronald Reagan inaugurated U.S. president;
    • Iran immediately releases American embassy hostages ­Jan. 20.
  • AIDS plague begins.
  • U.S. President Ronald Reagan shot & seriously wounded ­Mar.30
  • Pope shot in St. Peter's Square by professional Turkish gunman. ­ May 13
    • See 3rd Fatima vision revealed in the year 2000.
    • Shooting forewarns of open warfare on Perpetual Sacrifice and its guardian (2 Thes.2:6-7),
      • Opens sealed Book of Daniel.
  • Virgin Mary widely reported to have appeared in Medjugorje Yugoslavia.
    • Warns a group of children of a "great event" about to happen there.
    • Says this will be her last appearance on earth before the end of the world and the return of her Son
      .
  • Israel destroys Iraqi atomic reactor. ­June 7
  • Anwar Sadat, president of Egypt, assassinated. (see Jer.44:29-30) ­Oct. 6

1982 A.D.

  • Israel returns Sinai Peninsula to Egypt.
  • Israel forces Isaeli settlers to abandon Sinai settlements as a part of Egypt/Israel peace treaty.
  • Israel invades Lebanon, marching its forces to Beirut, destroying the city ­ June 6
  • Lebanese Christians, under the authority of Israeli general Ariel Sharon, murder hundreds of unarmed Palestinian refugees (See Habakkuk 2:16-17 prophecy) ­ September 14
  • Israel & Ariel Sharon draw world condemnation for massacre.
  • Fueled by Lebanon invasion, fundamentalist Islamic Shia fanaticism continues to explode across Middle East.
  • Britain legalizes homosexuality

1984 A.D.

  • U.S. Senate rejects 2 bills that would have allowed prayer in public schools ­Mar.

1986 A.D.

  • World drug crises continues to mount.
    • 'Crack' cocaine use, urban crime become rampant.
  • Russian Nuclear Reactor explodes in Chernobyl.
  • U.S. Space Shuttle Challenger explodes just after launch..

1989 A.D.

  • Violence erupts over Israeli military occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

1990 A.D.

  • Hubble Space Telescope launched ­ searching for cosmic signs in the heavens.

1991 A.D.

  • First Gulf War breaks out near the Euphrates, contemporizing the visions of Daniel. ­ Jan. 17
  • Flown in from across the western world, allied troops number 700,000 (425,000 American).
  • Scud missiles hit Israel.
  • Saddam Hussein of Iraq defeated, but allowed by President Bush to remain in power. ­ Mar 3
  • This war marks the first war of the ram in Daniel's prophetic sequence (Dn.8:3-8).
  • Slovenia secedes from Yugoslavia after bitter fighting.

1992 A.D.

  • Soviet Union dissolved.
    • Democracy sweeps to victory over communism.
  • Berlin wall comes down as E. Europe ends Cold War.
  • Leningrad renamed St.Petersburg.
    • Lucia's 2nd vision at Fatima comes true. Atheism repudiated.
  • The Labor Party of Yitzhak Rabin elected to power in Israel. ­ June 23
  • Bosnia-Herzogovina vote to secede from Yugoslavia blocked.
    • Ferocious Serbian war begins; Sarajevo destroyed in seige.

1993 A.D.

  • Peace agreement signed between Israel and PLO. The PLO recognized Israel's right to exist and Israel recognized the PLO as the Palestinian's representative; the two sides then signed an agreement for limited Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and in Gaza. ­ September 13

1994 A.D.

  • U.S. Supreme Court outlaws the Ten Commandments from courthouse display.
  • In the most startling 'sign from the heavens' during this century, cometary fragments the size of mountains bombard Jupiter in an ominous cosmic display.
  • The 2000th Anniversary of the birth of Jesus. (Possibly 1996 A.D.)
  • A Christian spiritual renewal spreads across U.S.A.; changes congressional power balance.
  • President Clinton brokers peace declaration between Israel and Jordan ­July 25
    Israel and Jordan sign a declaration in Washington D.C. ending their 46-year state of war.
    A formal peace treaty signed ­ Oct. 26.
  • Israeli and Arab extremists repeatedly challenge the peace accord.

1995 A.D.

  • NATO warplanes bomb Bosnia Serbs in attempt to quiet Balkan unrest.
  • U.S. Supreme Court bans school prayer.
    • In other decisions, court remains hostile to religious expressions in civic affairs.
  • In near apocalyptic wording, a U.N. Science Council Report warns of catastrophic effects across the world during the next hundred years as global warming rapidly accelerates.
  • Scientists say most of the world's coastal cities will be inundated by advancing tides caused by polar ice cap melting during this period.
  • Holes in the ozone layer continue to widen as sun-induced skin cancer reaches near-epidemic proportions worldwide.
  • Yitzhak Rabin assassinated. On November 4, while conducting a peace rally in Tel Aviv,
    • Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by an Orthodox Israeli bent on protecting Israel's settlements in Arab land.
    • Peaceful solution to the Arab-Israeli hostilities destroyed by the killing.

1996 A.D.

  • Most likely date for the 2000th anniversary of the birth of Jesus Christ.
  • The President of Russia leads Easter mass in resurrected Moscow church. ­ 4/14/96
    • This confirms second Fatima prophecy, the conversion of Russia.
  • Rabin's successor, Shimon Perez loses support following a renewal of Islamic militant suicide attacks on Israel. In retaliation, Israel attacks militant bases in southern Lebanon.
  • U.S. Supreme court rules in favor of sweeping gay rights. 5/20/96
  • Pushing security issues, Benjamin Netanyahu elected prime minister of Israel. 5/29/96.
  • Hubble Space Telescope discovers over 50 billion new galaxies.
  • US President Clinton hosts new peace talks between Arafat & Netanyahu after Israel sparks intense Muslim demonstrations by opening a tunnel underneath their sacred holy place, the 'Dome of the Rock' in Jerusalem. 10/1/96.
  • U.S. Supreme court re-affirms decision to ban school prayer. 11/4/96

1997 A.D.

  • April - Comet Hale-Bop appears in dazzling celestial display.
  • Anti-God warfare against Christians grows (especially in public schools).
  • U.S. Supreme Court Outlaws Religious Freedom Act, killing Federal measure Congress had designed to expand and protect the freedom of religion in America. 6/25/97
  • U.S. Supreme Court outlaws Internet Decency Act. 6/26/97.

1998 A.D.

  • President Clinton argues against School Prayer Amendment. 5/30/98.
  • Right to Prayer Amendment defeated in U.S. House of Representatives. 6/5/98.
  • Los Angeles court rules against man who purchased rental space on school billboard, saying he may not post the Ten Commandments there.
  • Scores of churches burned down across the United States.
  • Netanyahu and Arafat sign peace accord brokered by US President Clinton. 10/23/98
    • Israel to recognize the PLO and give Palestine several areas of land for an independent state in the West Bank in return for promise of end of violence. This treaty not ratified until Sept. 1999.
  • Explicit sex talk and savage violence rampant on family TV shows and in movies.
  • The U.S. House of Representatives votes to impeach the President of the United States for immoral behavior in office. 12/20/98
  • Belarus and Russia agree to unite their countries into a single state. 12/25/98
  • Pacific Ocean's greatest 'El Nino' current wreaks havoc on earth, producing mammoth fires, famine and drought in many places; huge floods in others.
  • U.S. spacecraft lands on Mars.

1999 A.D.

  • World population tops 6 billion people.
  • Coming "millenium" (year 2000) is dreaded.
  • 'End of the world' prophecies flourish in magazines, books and on the internet.
  • Hate crimes grow -- mass shootings occur in schools, church and synagouge.
  • Great earthquakes in Turkey and Taiwan leave thousands dead.
  • Wars and rumors of war continue unabated; include Kosovo, Indonesia, Somalia, Cechnya and Iraq.
  • Sept. - West Bank treaty between Palestine and Israel ratified.
  • Sept. 10 - The year 5760 in the Jewish calendar begins.
    (240 years remain until the year 6000 -- i.e., until the 'seventh day' of Hebrew religious history, begins).
  • 3/4 million Muslim Kosovo Albanian refugees flee for lives in Yugoslavian bloodbath.
    • Balkans in flames. 72-day NATO war insues
    • 60,000 NATO troops; 20,000 Americans sent to area.

2000 A.D.

  • The 2000th year in the Christian calendar.
  • Netanyahu loses election by a landslide to Ehud Barak. Hard liners take power in Israel. 5/17/00.
  • Vatican reveals to the world the third prophecy of Fatima (assassination of the Pope). 5/13/00
  • Full contents of the 3rd prophecy quietly made public by Vatican on internet in June 2000.
  • September - Resurgence of Intifada. Bloody era in Israeli-Palestinian fighting begins.
  • Ariel Sharon sees Israeli settlements in occupied Arab territory as a strategic imperative insuring Israeli security. Construction pace of Israeli settlements in the Arab lands of the West Bank increases dramatically.
  • U.S. Supreme Court names George W. Bush 43rd president after month of voting controversy.

2001 A.D.

  • Jan. 1 ­ The "Third Day" of Christ Begins. (Christ to return on "third day" according to scripture).
    • A day to God is a thousand years to man (Ps.90:4; 2 Peter 3:8).
  • Arab-Israel peace process disintegrates.
  • U.S. Supreme court reaffirms ruling­display of Ten Commandments on public land & buildings illegal­5/29
  • Sept. 11 - Trade Center Disaster ­9/11/01
    • The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center are destroyed in New York by Middle Eastern terrorists.
    • Pentagon damaged. Passengers force Capitol-bound plane to crash in field as East attacks West.
    • President Bush compares 9/11 to 'Pearl Harbor' ­ the first battle in a western war against eastern terrorism.
    • Bible Prophecy ­handwriting on the wall of Babylon (Dan. 5:23-28).
    • The fall of the World Towers in the city of the United Nation headquarters 9 months after the beginning of the "third day" of Christ, fulfills major Bible prophecies (see: "The Towers of Babylon").
  • USA "Declares war" on Muslim terrorists; invades Afghanistan. 9/12/02.
  • Daniel's "Chapter 8:5-8" prophecy continues to unfold.
  • Major Business recession begins in wake of Twin Tower fall.
  • Stock market plummets as tech stocks crash.

2002 A.D.

  • President Bush counters secular rhetoric with strong vocal Christian support.
  • Israel invades Palestinian towns; declares war on terrorism. 3/29/02.
  • Palestinian terrorists in Bethlehem turn Church of Nativity (Christ's birthplace) into armed fort.
    • shrine is riddled with bullets and artillary shells during protracted seige by Israeli troops.
    • Fires are set in the sanctuary. 3/30/02
  • U.S. Supreme court rules virtual images of child pornography legal. 4/16
  • California judges rule U.S. 'Pledge of Allegiance' unconstitutional because it mentions God. 6/2/02.
    • President Bush and U.S. Senate dissagree, vote 99 to 0 to keep pledge intact
  • Congress OK's American office of Domestic Defense.
  • Business community rocked with major scandals and corporate fraud.
  • Bush enraged ­ wants war with Iraq & Saddam Hussein.
  • U.N. votes to send inspectors back to Iraq to search for illegal weapons of mass distruction.
  • U.N. tries to cool off U.S. intent to invade Iraq.
  • Roman Catholic sex charges shroud 1-billion member church in dark clouds of scandal.
  • America's plans to invade Iraq continue
  • President Bush authorizes massive U.S. troop buildup in Middle East.
  • North Korea announces intent to reopen atomic reactors. (December)
  • Four U.S. naval carrier groups (the ships of Kittim) ordered to assemble in Middle East.
  • Palestinian state in West Bank nears collapse as bombings and fighting between Palestinians and Israeli army units continue unabated since September 2000.

2003 A.D.

  • North Korea pushes toward nuclear brinkmanship; threatens to declare war on USA. ­1/10/03.
  • US Troops ordered to Middle East said to be rising to 150,000. ­1/12/03.
  • Israeli hardliner, Ariel Sharon, reelected Israeli Prime Minister. ­1/28/03.
  • U.S. Space shuttle Columbia Disintegrates on re-entry, 7 astronauts perish. ­2/1/03.
  • Major NATO & UN rift threatens to fracture the western world alliance. ­2/13/03.
  • (See Daniel's prophecy ­Dan. 8:8 & Dan. 11:3-4)
  • U.S. 'Pledge of Allegiance' banned for its use of the name "God". ­2/28/03.
  • Ruling by the Full U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upholds previous court edict against God's name.
  • U.N. refuses to back U.S. war against Iraq. ­3/17/03..
  • U.S. invades Iraq
    • SECOND GULF WAR begins ­3/19/03
    • Iraq invaded at 4 A.M. Baghdad time..
  • Baghdad statue falls, toppling the second horn of the ram. ­4/9/03
  • Baghdad, symbol of ancient Babylon sacked by rampaging rioters. Fires burn across Iraq. ­4/14/03
    • Babylon's Museum of Antiquities plundered and left in ruins. National library in ashes. Roving guerrilla bands roam the city at night. Gun battles continue to rage.
  • Easter services conducted in the courtyard of Saddam Hussein's palace. ­4/20/03
    • This completes Jeremiah's prophecy that the king of Sheshak (Jer.25:14-30) will be the last to drink the cup of the Lord as it completes its transit around the world. The Day of Atonement nears its end.
  • President Bush declares end to combat, but refuses to call war in Iraq over.
    Occupation begins. Combat continues. ­5/1/03
  • Supreme Court strikes down the country's last remaining sodomy laws. ­6/26/03
    • Ruling legalizes and places gay people in the mainstream of U.S. society for the first time.
  • U.S. Combat death toll reaches 149 in Gulf War II, surpassing Gulf War I totals ­7/18/03
  • Sign of war appears in the sky ­ 8/27/03:
    • The planet Mars, named for the pagan god of war makes it's closest approach to earth in 60,000 years, creating a bright night-time spectacle in the heavens.
      In biblical times, this would have been seen as a certain sign of war (see Luke 21:25).
  • Israel constructs security fence to lock out Palestinians and protect settlements in West Bank. (Sept/October)
  • More crosses are taken down across the United States. Italy orders crucifix removed from school.
  • Episcopal church consecrates first openly gay bishop, a divorcee. ­11/2/03
  • Angry sun. The largest solar explosion ever witnessed by man occurs. ­11/4/03.
    • Solar blast is one in a series of explosions that have rocked the sun during 2003.
    • Solar blast occurs at what is normally the quietest time in the 11-year solar cycle.
  • Massachusetts Supreme Court paves way for gay marriage with landmark Sodomy law decision. ­11/18/03
  • U.S. combat deaths in Iraq total 472, far surpassing Gulf War I totals. ­12/31/03
  • Israel's wall through Palestine speeds toward completion. ­12/31/03

2004 A.D.

  • San Francisco Mayor ok's gay marriage in California in defiance of state law.
    • Thousands married. ­Feb. 12
  • Supreme Court bans use of public funds for ministerial education. ­Feb. 27
  • U.S. lands 2 mobile laboratories on Mars.
  • Major Good Friday Crucifixion movie "The Passion" released amid swirling controversy.
    • Anti-christ protests rampant across the nation.
  • Second Gulf War continues at Euphrates, enters 2nd year - 571 American's killed. ­March 19
  • Arab founder of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, assassinated by Israel in Gaza. ­March 21
  • Gulf War - Insurgency begins. Bloody Iraq Counterattack & Kidnappings. ­April 2004
  • Sharon/USA sign Gaza pact ­ Israel's "illegal" West Bank settlements ok'd by U.S.A. ­April 14
  • U.S. Army accused of committing enormous atrocities in Saddam Hussein's torture prison. ­May 2
  • Gay marriages become legal in Massachusetts ­May 17
  • Supreme Court refuses to rule on whether the word 'God' should be removed from the 'Pledge of Allegiance'.
    • Citing technicality, Court punts issue by voiding the lawsuit. ­June 14
  • New Iraqi government established. War continues ­June 28
  • ACLU orders obscure cross honoring California missions removed from LA County Seal ­June
  • Supreme Court strikes down law that would have prohibited child-pornography. ­June 29
  • World Court at Hague rules Israel's Wall illegal. ­July 9
  • Muslim extremists attack Russia ­ down 2 airliners, bomb Moscow, blow up hundreds of schoolchildren.
  • Second Gulf War continues, 1000 Americans dead ­Sept. 6
  • U.S. Congress rejects amendment to "support God". ­Sept. 28
  • A return to God and morality is the surprise major issue in America's 2004 national election. ­Nov. 2
    • George W. Bush re-elected to second term
  • Yassar Arafat, Palestine's leader, dies in French hospital ­Nov.11
  • Tsunamis roll across Indian Ocean killing up to 300,000 in 11 nations from Indonesia to Africa
    • Millions left injured or homeless; many starving and without water.
    • "Black Sunday" ­ Day after Christmas Tidal Wave called worst in recorded history ­Dec. 26
  • Second Gulf War continues. 1,324 Americans dead.­Dec.31

2005 A.D.

  • Mahmoud Abbas chosen as president of the Palestinian Authority ­Jan.9
  • U.S. cancels search for W.M.D. in Iraq ­Jan.12
  • The "Bush Doctrine" declared ­ Democracy to rule the earth (by force if necessary) ­Jan.20
  • Iraq election succeeds dramatically. Voter turnout exceeds 60% nationally. ­Jan.30
  • Palestine's Abbas & Israel's Sharon meet in Egypt & pledge end to conflict between them ­Feb.8
    • Landmark summit may end Intifada & renew 1993 Oslo hopes.
  • Sister Lucia of Fatima dies (foresaw Papal assassination/attempt) ­Feb.13
  • Israel Cabinet approves eviction of 8500 Jewish settlers from 21 sites mostly in Gaza Strip ­Feb.21
  • Syria begins moving its troops out of Lebanon under pressure ­ Mar. 8
  • President Bush euphoric as democracy's world-wide dominoes continue to fall in place.
  • California Judge OK's Gay Marriage. ­Mar.15.
  • Third year of 2nd Euphrates War begins. Over 1500 American soldiers dead. - Mar.19.
  • Pope John Paul II dies ­ April 2
    • Unprecedented almost continuous 24-hour international TV coverage ­ April 2 to April 19
    • Pope Benedict XVI elected in his place to govern 1.1 billion Roman Catholic Christians
    • New Pope affirms John Paul's conservative views will continue.
      • No Homosexual marriage; no divorce; no women priests, etc.
  • Fundamentalist Christian views become the driving issue in new judicial nominations ­April
  • Supreme Court reaffirms ban against Ten Commandment displays except in Texas ­June 27
  • Canada and Spain legalize gay marriage ­June
  • Israel evicts Israeli settlers from Palestinian land in Gaza ­August
  • Two Hurricanes (Katrina & Rita) ravage Gulf Coast. 3rd Hurricane kills over 1000 in Guatamala ­Aug-Sept-Oct
    • One of the world's greatest cities deserted ­ obliterated by hurricane and flood
    • Thousands of poor and tourists abandoned without water or food by authorities for almost 6 days.
    • Government promises to rebuild scores of cities destroyed.
  • U.S. 'Pledge of Allegiance' again banned by 9th Circuit Court for its use of the name "God".
    • CNN quick pole shows America's viewers divided 50-50 for and against the ban.
  • Major earthquake centered in Pakistan rocks 3 nations ­ 80,000 dead; 3.5 million homeless. ­Oct 8
  • Panic sweeps world over impending Bird Flu Pandemic ­ National Geographic says 300 million lives threatened. ­Oct.
  • Hurricane Wilma almost obliterates Cancun & Cozumel, Huge Florida damage follows. ­Oct.
  • Iraq War Toll - 2000 American dead, 15,000 American wounded, 30,000 civilian dead. ­Oct. 25
  • Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad issues call to "wipe Israel off the map!"­Oct. 28
  • France declares state of emergency as Muslim teenagers continue rampage and gun battles with police, ­Oct 27-Nov 9
    • Thousands of fires set across the country. Euro falls as fears of Europe-wide contagion builds.
  • Allstate insurance full page advertisement in the NY Times (Nov. 9):
    • " 8 out of the 10 largest catastrophes in U.S. history, have occurred in the just the last 4 years'"
  • Battle between secular and religious forces in U.S. continues to rage:
  • Kansas Board of Education votes to approve "Intelligent Design". Changes definition of the word "science". ­Nov 8
    • Citizens of Philadelphia vote to oust 8 school board members for promoting "Intelligent Design". ­Nov 8
  • Fear of Al Queda continues to erode America's traditional Christ-centered values.
    • Rights of poor trampled by corporate and political interests made rich by their plunder. War profiteering rages.
  • Defying White House and president, U.S. Senate declares military torture illegal. ­Dec
  • White House defends illegal policy of secretly spying on American citizens without due process ­Dec revelation.
  • Controversy rages over secularization of Christmas; name change to "holiday".
  • Pennsylvania judge bars "Intelligent Design", calling it a sectarian belief serving only "a particular version of Christianity." Intelligence not a part of science. ­Dec 19
  • Britain (N.Ireland, Scotland, England & Wales) legalizes gay marriage ­ Dec 19-21
  • Christmas day and Hanukkah converge on the same day this year, Dec. 25, for the first time since 1959.

2006 A.D.

  • Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon suffers massive stroke ­ Jan.4
  • Iran announces intent to launch its own nuclear weapons development program - Jan.
  • U.S. Supreme Court ok's assisted suicide in Oregon. - Jan. 17
  • California school forced to sign agreement never again to teach that there may have been an intelligence behind creation.
  • Vote puts terrorist group Hamas in control of Palestine. Peace process considered doomed. - Jan. 26
    • Stunning victory sends shockwaves around the world.
  • Bombing of mosque brings Iraq close to civil war (pitting Shiite Muslims against Sunni Muslems). - Feb. 22-25
  • Gulf War's 3rd anniversary. Over 2300 American's killed. Over 200 Coalition troops, 30,000-plus Iraqi civilians, and uncounted insurgents also killed. Journalist deaths top Vietnam. Overall injured may top 200,000. ­ Mar. 19
  • Evangelical leaders meet in Washington D.C. to discuss ongoing media war on Christianity - Mar. 26
  • Gnostic writing glorifies Judas Iscariot; Dan Brown book/movie accuses Jesus and Church group of sin.
  • President Bush and Pentagon speak publicly of possible plans to bomb Iran. - April
  • Birth of the "ten nations"? - Iran is the 7th nation invited into the Eastern world's "Shanghai Cooperation Organization", the eastern world's Regional Security Alliance, a military defense cooperative. The other members are Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Ubekistan, Tajikstan, China, and now Iran (Persia) ­ April 25
  • San Diego judge orders 50-year old cross honoring Korean War Veteran's torn down immediately ­ May 3
  • California judge rules "In God We Trust" may remain on U.S. Coins.  Cites "Ceremonial Deism" law. ­ June 12
  • Gulf War continues. 2500+ Americans & 50,000+ Iraqi's dead. "No end in sight" ­ Pres. Bush.
  • Anglican Archbishop rules against Episcopalian move to sanctify (ordinate) active gays. Schism threatened. ­ June 27
    • Anglican church (worldwide) is 80 million. Episcopalian branch (America) is 2.3 million
  • Israel attacks Palestine, jails 1/3rd of Hamas cabinet over kidnapped Israeli soldier. Shakey peace ends ­ June 29
  • U.S. Supreme Court stays destruction of San Diego cross. May hear case.
  • New York state's highest Court rejects gay marriage. Ruling called major setback, nationally. ­ July 6
  • Israel strikes Lebanon in major military assault over kidnapping of 2 soldiers.  ­ July 12
    • Hezbollah missle attacks on Israel evoke huge military retaliation.  Middle East war crises looms
  • War rages between Israel and a Hezbollah army that has appropriated Lebanon. Both nations in flames. ­ July 29
  • Cease Fire between Israel and Hezbollah ­ Aug 14
  • Episcopal church in Pasadena, California targeted by IRS for preaching sermon against war. ­ Sept 16
  • Global Muslim rioting erupts over Pope's Sept.13th claim that their religion promotes violence rather tham peace.
  • New York Times prints full page advertisement condemning God, religion and Christianity. ­Sept 24
  • Democrats sweep both houses of congress in anti-war protest win. ­11/7
  • President Ford dies 12/26.  State Funeral follows; continues to January 3rd.
  • Iraq civil war continues to rage between Sunni's & Shiites. 100's die daily. American dead reach 3000
  • Saddam Hussein of Iraq handed over to Shiites ­ executed by hanging ­12/29.

2007 A.D.

  • President Bush escalates war in Iraq, deploys additional troops and aircraft carrier to Persian Gulf in warning to Iran despite overwhelming congressional and public protests to end American involvement there.
  • Mexico legalizes homosexual marriage in response to changing moral climate in western world ­3/16
  • Mexico legalizes abortions.
  • Palestine - Hamas captures control of Gaza Strip. 6/13
  • London­8 Muslim doctors try to blow up London theatre district & Scotland airport . 6/29
    • Two of the three cars loaded with explosives fail to explode
  • New York Times lead editorial attacks Bible's position regarding homosexuality
    • Labels Christian who accepts it, "abnormal" and therefore, unfit for public office ­7/10
  • Today is the 6th anniversary of the day the towers fell. ­9/11
  • American economic collapse looms as mortgage banks fail in wake of housing boom crash.
  • Largest mortgage bank in USA , Countrywide Financial, averts failure by selling out to BofA at huge discount.
    • Many layoffs. More bank failures expected by experts. ­10/24
  • Paul Tibbetts dies - Pilot of Enola Gay who dropped the "unknown light" on Hiroshima in 1945 ­11/1
  • Israel and Palestine announce talks designed to find a peaceful settlement in 2008.
    • President Bush meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Mahmoud Abbas of Palestine ­11/27
  • Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore given Nobel Peace Prize for publicizing global warming dangers
    • Alerts world to human role in process and need to dramatically cut CO2 emissions.
  • Christian religion a major issue in early primary election campaign for U.S. president.
  • American economy teeters on the precipice ­ sparked by turbulent credit market & housing price crash.
  • Pakistan candidate for prime minister, Ms Benazir Bhutto assassinated; her nation plunged into chaos ­12/26
  • American dead in Iraq War nears 4000 as 2007 ends.

2008 A.D.

  • Cross on Mt. Soledad in San Diego continues to stand as court battles to tear huge monument down continue.
  • One of the largest Wall Street investmant banks in America, Bear Stearns, sells out at a 99% discount
    • Averts bank failure only be selling for one penny on the dollar. Few survive job purge. ­3/16
  • All economic numbers continue to tumble. Hushed talk of "Great Depression" in the winds of Wall Street.
  • Iraq & Afghanistan wars enter 6th year ­3/19
  • Presidential candidate John McCain foresees American troops in Iraq for 100 years.
  • Crude oil prices soar to $119 a barrel. Price was $10 a barrel only nine years ago. Gasoline and fuel prices skyrocket, severely impacting consumer, retailing & manufacturing costs for energy.
  • Wheat prices double as grain prices soar. Huge scarcities projected. Costco limits rice & flour sales.
  • Dairy and egg shortages said to be severe. Prices surge to record levels.
  • Rioting over food shortages begin in third world nations. ­April
  • American job market on precipice of collapse as economic numbers continue to tumble.
  • California Supreme court ok's gay marriage throughout state.­ 5/15
    • OK's gay marriage to out of state citizens as well, regardless of laws in other states.
  • Roaring seas kill hundreds of thousands in Myanamar (formerly Burma). Toll continues to climb as aid stalls. ­May
  • Catastrophic earthquake rocks China. Tens of thousands dead in Sichuan Province ­5/12
  • 60th anniversary of the founding of the modern state of Israel ­5/14/48 to 5/14/08
  • Israel opens direct peace talks with Syria ­5/21
  • Crude Oil prices top $132 a barrel. $7 per gallon gasoline prices predicted. ­ 5/23
    • Oil prices climb to $149 a barrel & higher. Huge impact worldwide.
  • Greece performs first gay marriages in its history. 6/4
  • The western world's top 4 oil giants to set up operations in Iraq. ­6/18
    • (Saddam Hussein had thrown them out 36 years ago when he came to power).
  • Unable to trace latest (tomato?) contamination, FDA says it can no longer insure US food safety.
    • (Cites lack of money, staffing and technology)
  • Indy-Mac fails; Fannie Mae & Freddy Mac on brink of collapse. Mortgage panic narrowly averted. ­7/11
    • U.S. Taxpayers assume enormous debt in Mortgage bailout as privatization attempt fails.
  • Russia invades Georgia, signalling a re-awakened "bear" with teeth of iron in the far north 8/10
    • Formative stage of the ten nations?  Return of the cold war?
  • Russia and Georgia sign a truce as Russian troops near Georgian capitol. 8/16
  • America's financial system crashes. Reckless unregulated management ruins Wall Street  9-11 to 9-19
    • Real Estate bubble collapse brings down the "second tower of Babylon" ­vide: "Fall of the Towers"
    • Stock Market crashes - 777 point fall is largest in U.S. stock market history.­9/29
    • Huge firms crumble, AIG, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, WaMu, Morgan Stanley, etc.
    • Money markets founder as Wall Street's vaunted Investment Banking System disintegrates.
    • U.S. Taxpayers saddled with catastrophic debt in bailout maneuvers.
    • Recession goes global as stocks plunge throughout world ­Mon, 10/6
    • Wild volatility & near thousand-point swings dog market.
    • Over a trillion dollars in retirement savings vanish in securities meltdown.
    • Credit markets frozen. Spending stops..
    • Crisis ushers in severe times ahead. Recovery expected to take years
  • Barack Obama elected 44th president of the United States ­ 11/4
  • California voters overturn judicial ruling; cancel gay marriage in state ­ 11/4
    • National protests by gays follows the ban.  Mormon church a major target.
  • U.S, puts up a trillion dollars to stop imminent collapse of Citibank as financials founder.
    • Cites "too big to be allowed to fail" reason for extraordinary bailout ­ 11/23
  • Global Ponzi scheme exposed by falling market ­ 50 billion dollar loss staggers world ­ 12/11
    • Neglect of oversight blamed on deregulation of markets.
  • Hamas rocket attacks met with furious Israeli bombardment in Gaza. Hundreds die ­12/28

2009 A.D.

  • Unprecedented national acclaim accompanies President Obama as he takes oath of office. ­1/20
    • Over 2 million people crowd national mall to watch historic event
  • Obama bans torture.
  • New flu virus (H1N1) from Mexico threatens global pandemic this fall ­4/21
  • "Euphrates River Drying Up" - Front page article, New York Times -7/14
  • Episcopalians vote overwhelmingly in favor of consecrating more non-celibate gay bishops -7/15
  • Unemployment continues to increase as Wall Street posts its richest quarterly profits ever -7/15
  • Armed gunslingers stalk U.S. president in Arizona and elsewhere as party rivalries crater unity.
  • Largest Lutheran branch in the U.S. votes to accept non-celibate gays into their clergy -8/21
  • President Obama awarded Nobel Peace Prize for banning torture & preventing world depression -10/9
  • Maine becomes 31st state to block gay marriage through public referendum ­ 11/4
  • Episcopalian church consecrates 2nd non-celibate gay bishop ­ (a lesbian) in S.California.
  • Afghanistan war heats up as thirty-thousand more troops sent in. Combat deaths there soar.
  • Alert passengers prevent Muslim terrorist from blowing up American airliner over Detroit - 12/25.

2010 A.D.

  • The world's war on terror launched in 2001 continues into its 9th year.
  • Deep economic recession continues as unemployment figures remain above 10% nationally.
  • Rage against Wall Street continues as Goldman Sachs reveals average 2009 employee pay nearly $600,000 apeice.
  • More than 250,000 die in terrible Haiti earthquake. -1/12
  • Chile in 'state of catastrophe' after vast 8.8 magnitude quake and tsunami - 2/27
  • Popular Fox News Pundit, Glenn Beck, warns viewers to abandon all Christian churches that advocate for the poor -3/9
    • Blaspheming the Holy Spirit, Beck compares such advocacy to "Nazi's and Communist's"­ (evil spirits).
  • 2002 ruling against God reversed. References to 'God' now ruled legal by 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - 3/11
    • New ruling applies to both U.S. 'Pledge of Allegiance' and U.S. currency.
  • Mexico ­ First gay (lesbian) marriage in Latin American history performed - 3/11
  • U.S. sternly censures Israel's latest intention to widely expand Israeli settlements into Arab land - 3/12.
  • Revelation of past priest sexual abuse and its extent in Germany stuns Pope Benedict - 3/12
  • Texas State School Board votes to expunge Thomas Jefferson from its history books -3/13
    • Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence, and was 3rd President of the U.S.A.
  • American Health care bill signed into law after long, rancorous fight. Law 100 years in the making. -3/23
    • Bill provides safety net that will save thousands of lives and help millions of sick people.
  • Roman Catholic Pope comes under fierce attack for molestations committed by errant priests. ­4/2
    • Scandal threatens to founder billion-member church and scatter large numbers from its ranks.(Jer.15:9)
  • U.S. National Day of Prayer abolished by Court order. ­4/16
    • Wisconsin Federal judge bows to atheist group
    • President Obama appeals ruling and says he will sign this years prayer proclamation despite court order.
  • Wall Street defiantly restores all its lethal schemes as friendly politicians block reform.
  • National Day of Prayer passes quietly and unnoticed as country agonizes over massive Gulf oil spill.­5/5
  • Senate votes to allow homosexuals to serve openly in the U.S. military (ends "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy). ­12/18

2011 A.D.

  • Thousands of birds fall out of sky across the U.S. southern states (Zeph.1:3) -January 1-3
  • Rioting and political uprisings inflame Egypt, Tunisia and Yemen; threaten Middle East stability -January 27+
  • Egyptian dictatorship toppled by people's revolt. -2/11
  • Dramatic political rioting across Middle East continues into April.
  • US attacks Libyan forces, plunging this nation into a 3rd simultaneous war in the Middle East.
  • Massive earthquake, tidal waves plus nuclear disaster strike northern Japan. -March 11
    • Tens of thousands dead or missing.
    • Chernoble-level radiation fears grip the west and much of the world.

2018 A.D.

  • The 70th anniversary of the rebuilding of Israel

2030 A.D.

  • The 2000th anniversary of the Crucifixion of Jesus. (Possibly 2033 A.D.)
  • The 2000th anniversary of the first Pentecost. (Possibly 2033 A.D.)

2070 A.D.

  • The 2000th anniversary of the destruction of Herod's Temple.
  • The 2000th anniversary of the Jewish dispersion to Rome (the Diaspora).

2240 A.D.

  • In October, the dawn of the 7th Millenium in the Jewish calendar arrives -- the Jewish year 6001.
    • (i.e, Creation's 7th day) begins. Eveything that belongs to God must return to God unequivacobly on this date.
    • According to scripture, the seventh day is a day of rest. As such its arrival officially ends the 6000-year "toiling of the nations". The importance of this date was made irrelevant by the prediction of Jesus that the days of the end will become so wicked that God will have to cut them short.

An Hour with George Müller

george muller

A Note: For those of you who may not know who George Mueller is: George Müller (German - born as : Johann Georg Ferdinand Müller) (27 September 1805 – 10 March 1898), a Christian evangelist and Director of the Ashley Down orphanage in BristolEngland, cared for 10,024 orphans in his life. 

He was well-known for providing an education to the children under his care, to the point where he was accused of raising the poor above their natural station in life. He also established 117 schools which offered Christian education to over 120,000 children, many of them being orphans.

       _________________________________________________

An Hour With George Mueller The Man of Faith to Whom God Gave Millions

Charles R. Parsons

Pastor Charles R. Parsons describes an hour’s interview with George Mueller toward the close of his life:

The warm summer day found me slowly walking up the shady groves of Ashley Hill, Bristol. At the top there met my gaze the immense buildings which shelter over two thousand orphans, built by a man who has given to the world the most striking object lesson in faith it has ever seen. The first house was on the right, and there among his own people, in plain, unpretentious apartments, lived the saintly patriarch, George Mueller. Passing the lodge gate, I paused a moment to look at House No. 3, one of the five erected at a cost of $600,000. The bell was answered by an orphan who conducted me up a lofty stone staircase and into one of the private rooms of the venerable founder of that great institution. Mr. Mueller had attained the remarkable age of ninety- one. As I stood in his presence, veneration filled my mind.

“Thou shalt rise up before the hoary head, and honor the face of the old man” (Lev. 19:32).

He received me with a cordial handshake and bade me welcome. It is something merely to see a man by whom God has accomplished a mighty work: it is more to hear the tones of his voice; far greater than either is the privilege of being brought into immediate contact with his spirit and of feeling the warm breath of his soul breathed into one’s own. The communion of that hour will be graven on my memory while life shall last. This servant of the Most High opened his heart to me, counseled me, prayed with me, and gave me his blessing. In that hour the source of George Mueller’s great spiritual strength was clearly made manifest. The aged saint with all his faculties unimpaired, was eloquent the whole time on one theme, the praise of Jehovah, the great Hearer and Answerer of His people’s prayers. My own words were few.

  “You have always found the Lord faithful to His promise, Mr. Mueller?”

  “Always! He has never failed me! For nearly seventy years every need in connection with this work has been supplied. The orphans from the first until now have numbered nine thousand five hundred, but they have never wanted a meal. Hundreds of times we have commenced the day without a penny, but our Heavenly Father has sent supplies the moment they were actually required. There never was a time when we had no wholesome meal. During all these years I have been enabled to trust in the living God alone. In answer to prayer $7,500,000 have been sent to me. We have needed as much as $200,000 in one year, and it has all come when needed. No man can ever say I asked him for a penny. We have no committees, no collectors, no voting, and no endowment. All has come in answer to believing prayer. God has many ways of moving the hearts of men all over the world to help us. While I am praying He speaks to one and another on this continent and on that to send us help. Only the other evening, while I was preaching, a gentleman wrote a check for a large amount and handed it to me when the service was over.”

  “I have read your life, Mr. Mueller, and noted how greatly your faith has been tried at times. Is it so now?”

  “My faith is tried as much as ever, and my difficulties are greater than ever. Besides our financial responsibilities, suitable helpers have to be found constantly, and suitable places provided for hundreds of orphans constantly leaving the homes. Then often our funds run very low. Only the other week we had come nearly to the end of our supplies. I called my beloved helpers together and said to them, ‘Pray, brethren, pray!’ Immediately five hundred dollars was sent us, then a thousand, and in a few days seven thousand five hundred came in. But always we have to be praying, always believing. Oh, it is good to trust in the living God, for He hath said, ‘I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee’ (Heb. 13:5). Expect great things from God, and great things you will have. There is no limit to what He is able to do. Praises forever to His glorious name! Praise Him for everything! I have praised Him many times when He sent me ten cents, and I have praised Him when He has sent me sixty thousand dollars.”

  “I suppose you have never contemplated a reserve fund?”

  “To do so would be an act of the greatest folly. How could I pray if I had reserves? God would say, ‘Bring out those reserves, George Mueller.’ Oh no, I never thought of such a thing. Our reserve fund is in Heaven. The living God is our sufficiency. I have trusted Him for one dollar, I have trusted Him for thousands, and never trusted in vain. ‘Blessed is the man that trusteth in Him’” (Ps. 34:8). 

  “Of course you have never thought of saving for yourself?”

Not easily nor soon shall I forget the dignified manner in which I was answered by this mighty man of faith. Hitherto he had been sitting opposite me with his knees close to mine, his hands clasped, his eyes betokening a calm, quiet, meditative spirit. Most of the time he had leaned forward, his gaze directed on the floor. But now he sat erect, and for several moments searched my face, with an earnestness that seemed to penetrate my very soul. There was a grandeur and majesty about those undimmed eyes, so accustomed to spiritual visions and to looking into the deep things of God. I do not know whether the question sounded to him as a sordid one, or whether it touched a lingering remnant of “the old self” to which he alludes in his discourses. In any event, there was not a shadow of doubt but that it roused his whole being.

After a brief pause, during which his face was a sermon and the depths of his clear eyes flashed fire, he unbuttoned his coat and drew from his pocket an old-fashioned purse with rings in the middle separating the character of the coins. Placing it in my hands he said quietly, “All I am possessed of is in that purse—every penny! Save for myself? Never! When money is sent to me for my own use, I pass it on to God. As much as five thousand dollars has thus been sent at one time; but I do not regard such gifts as belonging tome; they belong to Him, whose I am and whom I serve. Save for myself? I dare not save; it would dishonor my loving, gracious, all-bountiful Father.” I handed the purse back to Mr. Mueller. He told me the sum it contained, and what he himself had given to the Orphanage and the Scripture Knowledge Institution. These matters, however, together with a few others, I am not at liberty to disclose.

There was a glow of holy enthusiasm in the face of this aged, faithful man as he related some of the incidents pertaining to his preaching tours in forty-two different countries* and how in traveling from place to place—in some instances thousands of miles apart—his every need had been supplied. Hundreds of thousands of men and women of almost every nation had come to hear him, and his great themes were the simple message of salvation and the encouragement of believers to trust in the living God. He told me that he prayed more about his sermons than anything else and that often the text was not given him until he had ascended the pulpit stairs, although he had been praying for it all week.

I asked him if he spent much time on his knees.

  “Hours every day. But I live in the spirit of prayer; I pray as I walk, when I lie down, and when I rise. And the answers are always coming. Tens of thousands of times my prayers have been answered. When once I am persuaded a thing is right, I go on praying for it until the end comes. I never give up!” *Mr. Mueller began his travels when he was 70 and continued until he was 87 (from 1875 to 1892). These words were spoken in an exulting tone. There was a ring of triumph in them, and the man’s countenance was aglow with holy joy. He had risen from his seat while uttering them and had walked around to the side of the table.

  “In answer to my prayers, thousands of souls have been saved,” he went on. “I shall meet tens of thousands of them in heaven.” There was another pause. I made no remark, and he continued: “The great point is to never give up until the answer comes. I have been praying every day for fifty-two years for two men, sons of a friend of my youth. They are not converted yet, but they will be! How can it be otherwise? There is the unchanging promise of Jehovah, and on that I rest. The great fault of the children of God is that they do not continue in prayer; they do not go on praying; they do not persevere. If they desire anything for God’s glory, they should pray until they get it. “Oh, how good, kind, gracious, and condescending is the One with whom we have to do! He has given me, unworthy as I am, immeasurably above all I have asked or thought! I am only a poor, frail, sinful man, but He has heard my prayers tens of thousands of times and used me as the means of bringing tens of thousands of souls into the way of truth in this and other lands. These unworthy lips have proclaimed salvation to great multitudes, and very many people have believed unto eternal life.”

 I asked Mr. Mueller whether when he first began the work he had any idea whereunto it would grow.

After speaking of its commencement in Wilson Street, he answered, “I only knew that God was in it and was leading His child into untried and untrodden paths. The assurance of His presence was my stay.”

  “I cannot help noticing the way you speak of yourself,” I said, conscious that I was approaching a subject at once tender, sacred, and closely allied with his deepest spiritual moods and personal relationship to God, and I half reproached myself as soon as the words were uttered. 

He disarmed my fears by exclaiming, “There is only one thing I deserve, and that is Hell! I tell you, my brother, that is the only thing I deserve. By nature I am a lost man, but I am sinner saved by the grace of God. Though by nature a sinner, I do not live in sin. I hate sin; I hate it more and more, and love holiness more and more.” 

  “I suppose through all these long years in your work for God, you have met with much to discourage you,” I said.

  “I have met with many discouragements, but at all times my confidence has been in God,” was the reply. “On the word of Jehovah’s promise my soul rested! Oh, it is good to trust in Him; His Word never returns void! ‘He giveth power to the faint, and to them that have no might, He increaseth strength’ (Isaiah 40: 29). This applies also to my public ministrations. Sixty-two years ago I preached a poor, dry, barren sermon with no comfort to myself and, as I imagined, with no comfort to others. But a long time afterward I heard of nineteen distinct cases of blessing resulting from that sermon.”

I told him a few of the things that had discouraged me, and I expressed a hope to be used more of God than ever. “And you will be used of God, my brother,” he exclaimed. “God Himself will bless you! Toil on!” 

  “May I venture to ask you to give me a word of special counsel in regard to my own work for God,” I asked, “that I may pass it on to other Christian toilers in the great harvest field of souls?”

  “Seek to depend entirely on God for everything,” he answered. “Put yourself and your work into His hands. When thinking of any new undertaking, ask, Is this agreeable to the mind of God? Is it for His glory? If it is not for His glory, it is not for your good, and you must have nothing to do with it. Mind that! Having settled that a certain course is for the glory of God, begin it in His name and continue in it to the end. Undertake it in prayer and faith, and never give up! “And do not regard iniquity in your heart. If you do, the Lord will not hear you. Keep that before you always. Then trust in God. Depend only on Him. Wait on Him. Believe on Him. Expect great things from Him. Faint not if the blessing tarries. And above all, rely only on the merits of our adorable Lord and Saviour, so that according to them and to nothing of your own, the prayers you offer and the work you do be accepted.” I had no word of answer. What was there to say? My eyes were filled with tears, and my heart was overflowing, and besides—There was the speechless awe that dared not move, And all the silent heaven of love.

 From another room Mr. Mueller fetched a copy of his life, in which he inscribed my name. His absence afforded me an opportunity of looking around the apartment. The furniture was of the plainest description, useful and in harmony with the man of God who had been talking to me. It is a great principle with George Mueller that it does not become the children of God to be ostentatious in style, appointment, dress, or manner of living. He believes that expensive and luxury are not seemly in those who are the professed disciples of the meek and lowly One who had no place to lay His head. On a desk lay an open Bible of clear type without notes or references. This, I thought, is the abode of the mightiest man, spiritually considered, of modern times—a man especially raised up to show to a cold, calculating, selfish age the realities of the things of God and to teach the Church how much she might gain if only she were wise enough to take hold of the omnipotent arm of God.

I had been with this prince of prayer one whole hour, and only once had there come a knock at his door. It was opened by Mr. Mueller, and there stood one of his orphans—one of the largest family on earth—a fair-haired girl. “My dear,” said he, “I cannot attend to you just now. Wait awhile and I will see you.” Thus was I privileged to remain uninterrupted with this man of faith, this prevailed with God, this traveler of ninety-one years along life’s rough pilgrimage—a man who, like Moses, talks to God as a man talketh to his friend. To me, it was as one of the hours of Heaven come down to earth.

His prayer was short and simple. Going to his knees he said, “O Lord, bless this dear servant now before Thee more and more, more and more, more and more! And do Thou graciously guide his pen in what he may write in regard to this Thy work and our conversation today. I ask it through the merits of Thy dear Son, our Lord, and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen!”

George Mueller’s Life and Work

The writer of the foregoing interview furnishes the following particulars concerning the life of George Mueller: The Founder of the Ashley Down Orphanage, Bristol, England, was born in Prussia, September 17, 1805. In his young manhood he lived a godless life, but at the age of twenty-one, he was suddenly converted to God at a prayer meeting held in the house of a pious tradesman. Shortly afterward he came to England, bringing with him no letters of introduction, no money, no name, no recommendations, and only a very imperfect knowledge of the English language. What, then, did he bring? He brought God with him. Shortly after landing, he wrote in his journal, “My whole life shall be one service for the living God.” His principles were deeply rooted in the Holy Scriptures, and he adhered to them through the course of his long life. He never asked help from anyone and never hinted that help was needed. Solely in answer to believing prayer more than a million and a half sterling, ($7,500,000) was sent to him for the building and maintenance of “God’ s Orphanage,” for his missionary enterprises, and for the circulation of the Scriptures.

In his homes ten thousand destitute orphans have been received, trained, educated, and sent out into the world. In his old age he traveled nearly two hundred thousand miles in forty-two countries, preaching the Gospel to three millions of hearers. Having thus served God in his day and generation, his spirit, like that of Moses, was kissed away by the mouth of Jehovah, when all alone in his room, on the early morning of March 10, 1898. His age was ninety-three. “He asked life of Thee, and thou gavest it him, even length of days for ever and ever,” (Ps. 21:4).

Answers to Prayer

A few of the many remarkable answers to prayers which George Mueller received during his eventful life as contained in his own narratives are here recorded.

June 13, 1853—We were now very poor. Not indeed in debt, not even with all the money gone; there was still about sixty dollars in hand; but there was needed to be bought flour, of which we buy generally ten sacks at a time, four thousand two hundred pounds of oatmeal, four hundred-weight of soap. There were many little repairs going on in the house, with a number of workmen employed, besides the regular current expenses of about $280 per week. Over and above all this, on Saturday the day before yesterday, I found that the heating apparatus needed to be repaired, which would, in all probability, cost $100. It was therefore desirable, humanly speaking, to have $500 for these heavy extra expenses. But I had no human prospect whatever of getting even two hundred cents—much less $500.

In addition to this, today was Monday when generally the income is little. But in walking to the Orphan House this morning, and praying as I went, I particularly told the Lord in prayer, that on this day, though Monday, He could send me much. And thus it was, I received this morning $1500 for the Lord’s service, as might be most needed. The joy which I had cannot be described. I walked up and down in my room for a long time, tears of joy and gratitude to the Lord raining plentifully over my cheeks, praising and magnifying the Lord for His goodness, and surrendering myself afresh, with all my heart, to Him for His blessed service. I scarcely ever felt more the kindness of the Lord helping me.

Sept. 30, 1868—From Yorkshire $250. Received also $5000 today for the Lord’s work in China. About this donation, it is especially to be noted, that for months it had been my earnest desire to do more than ever for mission work in China, and I had already taken steps to carry out my desire when this donation came to hand. This precious answer to prayer for means should be a particular encouragement to all who are engaged in the Lord’s work, and who may need means for it. It proves afresh that, if our work is His work, and we honor Him by waiting upon and looking to Him for means, He will surely, in His own time and way, supply them.

The joy which answers to prayer give, cannot be described, and the impetus which they afford to the spiritual life is exceeding great. The experience of this happiness I desire for all my Christian readers. If you indeed believe in the Lord Jesus for the salvation of your soul; if you walk uprightly and do not regard iniquity in your heart; if you continue to wait patiently, and believingly upon God, such answers will surely be given to your prayers. You may not be called upon to serve the Lord in the way the writer does, and therefore may never have answers to prayer respecting such things as are recorded here; but in your various circumstances, your family, your business, your profession, your church activities, your labor for the Lord, you may have answers as distinct as any here recorded. 

Sept. 4, 1869—Only one cent was in my hands this morning, Pause a moment, dear reader! Only one cent in hand when the day commenced! Think of this, and think of nearly fourteen hundred persons to be provided for. You, poor brethren, who have six or eight children and small wages, think of this; and you, my brethren who do not belong to the working classes, but have as it is called, very limited means, think of this! May you not do, what we do, under your trials? Does the Lord love you less than He loves us? Does He not love all His children with no less love than that with which He loves His only begotten Son, according to John 17:20-23? Or are we better than you? ... Well, let us hear then, how God helped when there was only one cent left in my hands, on the morning referred to.

Shortly after nine o’clock, I received $5.00 from a sister in the Lord, who does not wish the name of the place where she resides mentioned. Between ten and eleven o’clock the bag was sent from the Orphan Houses, in which a note stated that nearly $6.00 was required for today. Scarcely had I read this when a carriage stopped before my house, and a gentleman, from the neighborhood of Manchester, was announced. I found that he was a believer, who had come on business to Bristol. He had heard about the Orphan Houses and expressed his surprise that without any regular system of collections, and without personal application to anyone, simply by faith and prayer, I obtained more than $10,000 annually for the work of the Lord in my hands. This brother, whom I had never seen before, and whose name I did not even know before he came, gave me $10.00, as an exemplification of what I had stated to him. 

July 28, 1874— “It has for months appeared to me, as if the Lord meant, by His dealings with us, to bring us back to that state of things, in which we were for more than ten years, from August, 1838, to April, 1849, when we had day by day, almost without interruption, to look to Him for our daily supplies, and for a great part of the time, from meal to meal. The difficulties appeared to me indeed very great, as the institution is now twenty times larger than it was then, and our purchases are to be made in a wholesale way; but at the same time, I am comforted by the knowledge that God is aware of all this, and that if this way be for the glory of His name, and for the good of His church and the unconverted world, I am, by His grace, willing to go this way, and to do it to the end of my course. The funds were thus fast expended; but God, our infinitely rich Treasurer, remains to us. It is this which gives me peace.

“If it pleases Him with a work requiring about $222,000 a year, to make me do again at the evening of my life, what I did from August, 1838, to April, 1849, I am not only prepared for it, but gladly again would I pass through all these trials of faith, with regard to means, if He only might be glorified, and His church and the world be benefited. Often and often this last point has of late passed through my mind, and I have placed myself in the position of having no means at all left, and two thousand one hundred persons not only at the table, but with everything else to be provided for, and all funds gone; one hundred and eighty-nine missionaries to be assisted, and nothing whatever left; about one hundred schools, with about nine thousand scholars in them, to be entirely supported, and no means for them in hand; about four millions of tracts and tens of thousands of copies of the Holy Scriptures yearly have to be sent out, and all the money expended. Invariably, however, with this probability before me, I have said to myself: God, who has raised up this work through me, God who has led me generally year after year, to enlarge it, God who has supported this work now for more than forty years, will still help and will not suffer me to be confounded, because I rely upon Him, I commit the whole work to Him, and He will provide me with what I need in the future also, though I know not whence the means are to come.”

Samuel Chadwick in his most inspiring book, The Path of Prayer, relates an occasion when Dr. A. T. Pierson was the guest of George Mueller at his orphanage. He says: “One night when all the household had retired he [Mueller] asked Pierson to join him in prayer. He told him that there was absolutely nothing in the house for next morning’s breakfast. My friend tried to remonstrate with him and to remind him that all the stores were closed. Mueller knew all that. He had prayed as he always prayed, and he never told anyone of his needs but God. They prayed—at least Mueller did—and Pierson tried to. 

They went to bed and slept, and breakfast for two thousand children was there in abundance at the usual breakfast hour. Neither Mueller nor Pierson ever knew how the answer came. The story was told next morning to Simon Short of Bristol, under pledge of secrecy until the benefactor died. The details of it are thrilling, but all that need be told here is that the Lord called him out of bed in the middle of the night to send breakfast to Mueller’s orphanage, and knowing nothing of the need, or of the two men at prayer, he sent provisions that would feed them a month. This is like the Lord God of Elijah, and still more like the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Charles Inglis, the well-known evangelist, relates the following remarkable incident: “When I first came to America thirty-one years ago, I crossed the Atlantic with the captain of a steamer who was one of the most devoted men I ever knew; and when we were off the banks of Newfoundland he said to me: ‘Mr. Inglis, the last time I crossed here, five weeks ago, one of the most extraordinary things happened that has completely revolutionized the whole of my Christian life. Up to that time I was one of your ordinary Christians. We had a man of God on board, George Mueller, of Bristol. I had been on that bridge for twenty-two hours and never left it. I was startled by someone tapping me on the shoulder. It was George Mueller. 

“‘Captain,’ said he, ‘I have come to tell you that I must be in Quebec on Saturday afternoon.’ This was Wednesday. “‘It is impossible,’ I said. “‘Very well, if your ship can’t take me God will find some other means of locomotion to take me. I have never broken an engagement in fifty-seven years.’ “‘I would willingly help you, but how can I? I am helpless.’ “‘Let us go down to the chart room and pray,’ he said.

 “I looked at this man and I thought to myself, ‘What lunatic asylum could the man have come from? I never heard of such a thing.’ “‘Mr. Mueller,’ I said, ‘do you know how dense this fog is?’ “‘No,’ he replied, ‘my eye is not on the density of the fog, but on the living God, who controls every circumstance of my life.’ “He went down on his knees, andhe prayed one of the most simple prayers. I thought to myself, ‘That would suit a children’s class, where the children were not more than eight or nine years of age.’ The burden of his prayer was something like this: ‘O Lord, if it is consistent with Thy will, please remove this fog in five minutes. You know the engagement You made for me in Quebec for Saturday. I believe it is Your will.’

“When he had finished, I was going to pray, but he put his hand on my shoulder and told me not to pray. “First,’ he said, ‘you do not believe God will do it; and, second, I believe He has done it. And there is no need whatever for you to pray about it.’ “I looked at him, and George Mueller said this: ‘Captain, I have known my Lord for fifty-seven years and there has never been a single day that I have failed to gain an audience with the King. Get up, Captain and open the door, and you will find the fog is gone.’ I got up, and the fog was gone. On Saturday afternoon George Mueller was in Quebec.”

Real Faith by George Mueller

“Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. ”—HEBREWS 11:1, 3.

First: What is faith? In the simplest manner in which I am able to express it, I answer: Faith is the assurance that the thing which God has said in His Word is true, and that God will act according to what He has said in His Word. This assurance, this reliance on God’s Word, this confidence is faith.

No impressions are to be taken in connection with faith. Impressions have neither one thing nor the other to do with faith. Faith has to do with the Word of God. It is not impressions, strong or weak, which will make any difference. We have to do with the written Word and not ourselves or our impressions.

Probabilities are not to be taken into account. Many people are willing to believe regarding those things that seem probable to them. Faith has nothing to do with probabilities. The province of faith begins where probabilities cease and sight and sense fail. A great many of God’s children are cast down and lament their want of faith. They write to me and say that they have no impressions, no feeling, they see no probability that the thing they wish will come to pass. Appearances are not to be taken into account. The question is—whether God has spoken it in His Word.

And now, my beloved friends, you are in great need to ask yourselves whether you are in the habit of thus confiding, in your inmost soul, in what God has said, and whether you are in earnest in seeking to find whether the thing you want is in accordance with what He has said in His Word.

Secondly: How faith may be increased.

 God delights to increase the faith of His children. Our faith, which is feeble at first, is developed and strengthened more and more by use. We ought, instead of wanting no trials before victory, no exercise for patience, to be willing to take them from God’s hand as a means. I say—and say it deliberately—trials, obstacles, difficulties, and sometimes defeats, are the very food of faith.

I get letters from so many of God’s dear children who say: “Dear Brother Mueller: I’m writing this because I am so weak and feeble in faith.” Just so surely as we ask to have our faith strengthened, we must feel a willingness to take from God’s hand the means for strengthening it. We must allow Him to educate us through trials and bereavements and troubles. It is through trials that faith is exercised and developed more and more. God affectionately permits difficulties, that He may develop unceasingly that which He is willing to do for us, and to this end we should not shrink, but if He gives us sorrow and hindrances and losses and afflictions, we should take them out of His hands as evidences of His love and care for us in developing more and more that faith which He is seeking to strengthen in us.

The Church of God is not aroused to see God as the beautiful and lovable One He is, and hence the littleness of blessedness. Oh, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, seek to learn for yourselves, for I cannot tell you the blessedness! In the darkest moments I am able to confide in Him, for I know what a beautiful and kind and lovable Being He is, and, if it be the will of God to put us in the furnace, let Him do it, that so we may acquaint ourselves with Him as He will reveal Himself, and that we may know Him better. We come then to the conclusion that God is a lovable Being, and we are satisfied with Him, and say: “It is my Father, let Him do as He pleases.”

When I first began to allow God to deal with me, relying on Him, taking Him at His word, and set out fifty years ago simply relying on Him for myself, family, taxes, traveling expenses and every other need, I rested on the simple promises I found in the sixth chapter of MatthewI believed the Word, I rested on it and practiced it. I took God at His Word. A stranger, a foreigner in England, I knew seven languages and might have used them perhaps as a means of remunerative employment, but I had consecrated myself to labor for the Lord, I put my reliance in the God who has promised, and He has acted according to His Word. I’ve lacked nothing—nothing. I have had my trials and difficulties, and my purse empty, but my receipts have aggregated. I have received thousands and thousands of dollars, while the work has gone on these fifty-one years. Then, with regard to my pastoral work; for the past fifty-one years I have had great difficulties, great trials and perplexities. There will always be difficulties, always trials. But God has sustained me out of them, and the work has gone on.

Now, this is not, as some have said, because I am a man of great mental power, or endowed with energy and perseverance—these are not the reasons. It is because I have confided in Godbecause I have sought God, and He has cared for the Institution, which, under His direction, has one hundred schools, with masters and mistresses, and other departments of which I have told you before.

I do not carry the burden. And now in my seventy-sixth year, I have physical strength and mental vigor for as much work as when I was a young man in the university studying and preparing Latin orations. I am just as vigorous as at that time. How comes this? Because in the last half-century of labor I’ve been able with the simplicity of a child, to rely upon God. I have had my trials, but I have laid hold upon God, and so it has come to pass that I have been sustained. It is not only permission, but positive command that He gives, to cast the burdens upon Him. Oh, let us do it! My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee” (Ps. 55:22). Day by day I do it. This morning sixty matters in connection with the church of which I am pastor, I brought before the Lord, and thus it is, day by day I do it, and year by year; ten years, thirty years, forty years.

Do not, however, expect to obtain full faith at once. All such things as jumping into full exercise of faith in such things I discountenance. I do not believe in it. I do not believe in it, I do not believe in it and I wish you plainly to understand I do not believe in it. All such things go on in a natural way. The little I did obtain I did not obtain all at once. All this I say particularly, because letters come to me full of questions from those who seek to have their faith strengthened. Begin over again, staying your soul in the Word of God, and you will have an increase of your faith as you exercise it.

One thing more. Some say, “Oh, I shall never have the gift of faith Mr. Mueller has got.” This is a mistake— it is the greatest error—there is not a particle of truth in it. My faith is the same kind of faith that all God’s children have had. It is the same kind that Simon Peter had, and all Christians may obtain the like faith. My faith is their faith, though there may be more of it because my faith has been a little more developed by exercise than theirs; but their faith is precisely the faith I exercise, only, with regard to degree, mine may be more strongly exercised.

Now, my beloved brothers and sisters, begin in a little way. At first, I was able to trust the Lord for $10.00, then for $100, then for $1000 and now, with the greatest ease, I could trust Him for $1,000,000 if there was occasion. But first, I should quietly, carefully, deliberately examine and see whether what I was trusting for, was something in accordance with His promises in His written Word. If I found it was, the amount of difficulties would be no hindrance to my trust. Fifty-one years, and God has never failed me! Trust Him for yourselves and find how true to His Word He is.

*Appendix A

Five Conditions of Prevailing Prayer

1.—Entire dependence upon the merits and mediation of the Lord Jesus Christ, as the only ground of any claim for blessing. (See John 14:13,14; 15:16 etc.)

2.—Separation from all known sin. If we regard iniquity in our hearts, the Lord will not hear us, for it would be sanctioning sin. (Ps. 66:18.)

3.—Faith in God’s word of promise as confirmed by His oath. Not to believe Him is to make Him both a liar and a perjurer. (Heb. 11:6; 6:13-20.)

4.—Asking in accordance with His will. Our motives must be godly: we must not seek any gift of God to consume it upon our lusts (I John 5:14; James 4:3.)

*For these three appendices see “Answers to Prayer from George Mueller’s Narratives” Moody Press, Chicago 10, Illinois.

5.—Importunity in supplication. There must be waiting on God and waiting for God, as the husbandman has long patience to wait for the harvest. (James 5:7; Luke 18:1-8.)

Appendix B

The Careful and Consecutive Reading of the Holy Scriptures

Concerning this subject Mr. Mueller says: “I fell into the snare, into which so many young believers fall, the reading of religious books in preference to the Scriptures. I could no longer read French and German novels, as I had formerly done, to feed my carnal mind; but still I did not put into the room of those books the best of all books. I read tracts, missionary papers, sermons, and biographies of godly persons. The last kind of books I found more profitable than others, and had they been well selected, or had I not read too much of such writings, or had any of them tended particularly to endear the Scriptures to me, they might have done me much good—I never had been at any time in my life in the habit of reading the Holy Scriptures.

When under fifteen years of age, I occasionally read a little of them at school; afterwards God’s precious Book was entirely laid aside, so that I never read one single chapter of it, as far as I remember, till it pleased God to begin a work of grace in my heart. Now the Scriptural way of reasoning would have been: God himself has condescended to become an author and I am ignorant about that precious Book, which His Holy Spirit has caused to be written through the instrumentality of His servants, and it contains that which I ought to know, and the knowledge of which will lead me to true happiness; therefore I ought to read again and again this most precious Book, this Book of books, most earnestly, most prayerfully, and with much meditation; and in this practice I ought to continue all the days of my life.

For I was aware, though I read it but little, that I knew scarcely anything of it. But instead of acting thus, and being led by my ignorance of the Word of God to study it more, my difficulty in understanding it, and the little enjoyment I had in it, made me careless of reading it (for much prayerful reading of the Word, gives not merely more knowledge, but increases the delight we have in reading it); and thus, like many believers, I practically preferred, for the first four years of my divine life, the works of uninspired men to the oracles of the living God. The consequence was, that I remained a babe, both in knowledge and grace. In knowledge I say; for all true knowledge must be derived by the Spirit, from the Word. And as I neglected the Word, I was for nearly four years so ignorant, that I did not clearly know even the fundamental points of our holy faith. And this lack of knowledge most sadly kept me back from walking steadily in the ways of God. For it is the truth that makes us free (John 8:31, 32) by delivering us from the slavery of the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life. The Word proves it; and also my own experience most decidedly proves it. For when it pleased the Lord in August, 1829 to bring me really to the Scriptures, my life and walk became very different. And though even since that I have very much fallen short of what I might and ought to be, yet, by the grace of God, I have been enabled to live much nearer to Him than before.

“If any believers read this, who practically prefer other books to the Holy Scriptures, and who enjoy the writings of men much more than the Word of God, may they be warned by my loss. I shall consider this book to have been the means of doing much good, should it please the Lord, through its instrumentality, to lead some of His people no longer to neglect the Holy Scriptures, but to give them that preference, which they have hitherto bestowed on the writings of men. My dislike to increase the number of books would have been sufficient to deter me from writing these pages, had I not been convinced, that this is the only way in which the brethren at large may be benefited through my mistakes and errors, and been influenced by the hope, that in answer to my prayers, the reading of my experience may be the means of leading them to value the Scriptures more highly, and to make them the rule of all their actions. . . .

“If anyone should ask me, how he may read the Scriptures most profitably, I would advise him, that:

I. Above all he should seek to have it settled in his own mind, that God alone, by His Spirit, can teach him, and that therefore, as God will be inquired of for blessings, it becomes him to seek God’s blessing previous to reading, and also while reading.

II. He should have it, moreover, settled in his mind, that, although the Holy Spirit is the best and sufficient teacher, yet that this teacher does not always teach immediately when we desire it, and that, therefore, we may have to entreat Him again and again for the explanation of certain passages; but that He will surely teach us at last, if indeed we are seeking for light prayerfully, patiently, and with a view to the glory of God.

III. It is of immense importance for the understanding of the word of God, to read it in course, so that we may read every day a portion of the Old and a portion of the New Testament, going on where we previously left off. This is important because:

 (1) It throws light upon the connection; and a different course, according to which one habitually selects particular chapters, will make it utterly impossible ever to understand much of the Scriptures.

 (2) Whilst we are in the body, we need a change even in spiritual things; and this change the Lord has graciously provided in the great variety which is to be found in His word.

 (3) It tends to the glory of God for the leaving out some chapters here and there is practically saying, that certain portions are better than others; or, that there are certain parts of revealed truth unprofitable or unnecessary.

 (4) It may keep us, by the blessing of God, from erroneous views, as in reading thus regularly through the Scriptures we are led to see the meaning of the whole, and also kept from laying too much stress upon certain favorite views.

(5) The Scriptures contain the whole revealed will of God, and therefore we ought to seek to read from time to time through the whole of that revealed will. There are many believers, I fear, in our day, who have not read even once through the whole of the Scriptures; and yet in a few months, by reading only a few chapters every day they might accomplish it.

IV. It is also of the greatest importance to meditate on what we read, so that perhaps a small portion of that which we have read, or, if we have time, the whole may be meditated upon in the course of the day. Or a small portion of a book, or an epistle, or a gospel, through which we go regularly for meditation, may be considered every day, without, however, suffering oneself to be brought into bondage by this plan.

“Learned commentaries I have found to store the head, with many notions and often also with the truth of God; but when the Spirit teaches, through the instrumentality of prayer and meditation, the heart is affected. The former kind of knowledge generally puffs up, and is often renounced, when another commentary gives a different opinion, and often also is found good for nothing, when it is to be carried out into practice. The latter kind of knowledge generally humbles, gives joy, leads us nearer to God, and is not easily reasoned away; and having been obtained from God, and thus having entered into the heart, and become our own, is also generally carried out.”

Appendix C: How I Ascertain the Will of God

1. I SEEK AT THE BEGINNING to get my heart into such a state that it has no will of its own in regard to a given matter. Nine-tenths of the trouble with people is just here. Nine-tenths of the difficulties are overcome when our hearts are ready to do the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. When one is truly in this state, it is usually but a little way to the knowledge of what His will is

2. HAVING DONE THIS, I do not leave the result to feeling of simple impression. If I do so, I make myself liable to great delusions. 

3. I SEEK THE WILL of the Spirit of God through, or in connection with, the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word must be combined. If I look to the Spirit alone without the Word I lay myself open to great delusions also. If the Holy Ghost guides us at all, He will do it according to the Scriptures and never contrary to them.

4. NEXT I TAKE into account providential circumstances. These often plainly indicate God’s will in connection with His Word and Spirit.

5. I ASK GOD in prayer to reveal His will to me aright.

6. THUS, THROUGH PRAYER to God, the study of the Word, and reflection, I come to a deliberate judgment according to the best of my ability and knowledge, and if my mind is thus at peace, and continues so after two or three more petitions, I proceed accordingly.

In trivial matters, and in transactions involving most important issues, I have found this method always effective.

George Mueller


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A Pivotal Moment of History

women at TombA Pivotal Moment of History; He Is Risen!

As the women arrived at the sepulcher early Resurrection Sunday morning to anoint the body of the buried Jesus, among the first words spoken to them was “he has risen.” Those words confirmed that life on earth would never be the same. It was the pivotal moment of all human history.

Untrackable, God kept His plan a secret from generations of His people as well as from the princes of darkness of this world. So supreme was the resurrection of His son—in contrast to the horrific and brutal death of Jesus—that it would unveil a new creation, a “new man”, a unique type of human being: one endued with the Spirit of God within, able to display the light of the eternal God and His son Jesus Christ, dwelling within a new spiritual being.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)

If the princes of the darkness of this world, and their henchman Satan, had known that when they crucified the Lord of Glory, soon many millions, enabled as Christ, would exert power against the rulers of the darkness of this world (just as Jesus had)—they never would have crucified the Lord of Glory. That, my brothers and sisters, is the exact point. As he has now risen, he has enabled you and I to take his place and his position on the earth until his return for his church.

Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints: To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: (Col 1:26-27 )

Again, if Satan had known that God would bring into existence, as his “sons and daughters,” men and women infused with the power of God, filled with His Spirit, a Spirit incorruptible—they would never have crucified the Messiah.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. (1Cr 2:7-8)

It is vitally important for all believers to know the truth. The truth sets us free—not the traditions of men. Resurrection Sunday, stands in dark contrast to the horrific beating and execution, only days previous, of our Lord and savior.

Our God is the loving Father of mercies.

Fortunately, for us, our God is the loving Father of mercies. Although mankind had taken a step of immense distance from its Creator, God promised a future reconciliation and brought it to pass by making what is most precious to any father: a son or daughter.

 In bringing many sons and daughters to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the pioneer of their salvation perfect through what he suffered. (Hebrews 2:10 NIV)

Jesus Christ, our brother, walked as all men were made to walk, and took unto himself the punishment that we deserved, and yet, we received the reward of his glorious life.

He is Risen! And thank God for that.

 Anthony Barbera

Except A Man Be Born Again

Except A Man Be Born Again

JesusNicodemisJesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:23)

Worthy. Every evil deed that has been thrust against your innocence has been both forgiven and forgotten. Everything lost—recovered.

You have been bathed as a new baby, cleansed, you are made perfect and holy in His sight. Recovered and re-established closer than it has ever been. Satan was so fooled by God that now nothing can separate you from God’s love. Nothing. Unsullied, you reenter your life anew. 

   Once a perpetrator of dishonor, God has equipped you like a prince of love. Once groping in darkness, God has sought you out and encouraged you to be a messenger of light. Once only knowing hatred, Jesus Christ made it so you may speak directly with the Creator of Love. You have been summoned. Your Father is light, and in him is no darkness at all. He is Spirit—and He is love. You have been reborn in his likeness, and your value is in Christ!

Rejoice and don't turn back.

With Love,

Anthony Barbera

Our Wondrous Bible- Part Two

How Do We Know That The Bible Is True?  

By Anthony Barbera

bible writerRecently, my ten-year-old niece, Madison, asked me a thoughtful and important question: “Uncle Tony,” she said, “How do we know that the Bible is true? That it was inspired by God?” Yep, she really speaks like that. What a superb question, and a dynamic continuation of our search concerning Our Wondrous Bible.

 I said, “Madison, there are no quick answers, but let’s have a go at it. Certainly, most Christians maintain that the Bible is God’s Word and the most wondrous of all books written since the beginning of human existence, and yet, curiously, even some Christians will ask: ‘Did God really have the Bible written for us? Is the Bible true? Is it reliable?’”

  So, how do we know that the hand of God genuinely inspired one book, the Bible, specifically to guide the people of earth, whom God said He created in His own image? How do we know that God actually had the Holy Scriptures written by men under His supervision, authority, and inspiration? Is there proof?

Yes! Yes, indeed. The proof is overwhelming. But first things first. We’ve seen this verse before, and yet, it is an indisputable landmark of truth.

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. (2 Pet 1:21 KJV)

The Holy Bible was not written by men willy-nilly, declaring their personal beliefs concerning a deity. Instead, our Creator conveyed very clearly, and holy men of His, spoke and wrote, or had it transcribed as they were inspired (moved) by the Spirit of God.

WORKING IN UNION WITH THE CREATOR

The Bible contains Jehovah’s desire for all men, revealing the true history of mankind: from the beginning to the end. The Bible contains thousands of fulfilled predictions (prophecies), many times written in advance of the actual events, which have come to pass. Of course, some reside still in the future. Hundreds of details concerning the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ were written generations before he was ever born. For example, Isaiah 53 beautifully describes the life of Christ, 700 years before it took place! Even the town of Jesus’ birth was foretold in the Old Testament Micah 5:2. And there are no prophetic mistakes.

MEN OF GOD WERE NOT COMPILING HISTORY BY MEMORY

 There is no question that the books of the Bible were composed by human writers. We don’t know who every writer was. But we do know the Author. Nor do we know exactly how God directed these men to write, except that they were moved by the Spirit of God as they wrote. To be inspired is to be encouraged and enlightened, to receive revelation (information which cannot be known other than from God). Decidedly, never, just never, is a man possessed by the Spirit of God. Nor, were the holy men of God merely compiling a history of mankind from memory, where error and opinion would necessarily be intertwined; No, instead God, through His Spirit, inspired each verse accurately from His ever-present knowledge.

   The Holy Scriptures were inspired by God while holy men, working in union with the Creator of the heavens and the earth, wrote them down. At least forty of them, most with notably different backgrounds: from kings to farmers; tax collectors to fishermen; prophets to apostles—God moved and inspired them all. In fact, the Word of God (as it is called by God) was composed by one Author (God Almighty) utilizing many writers. The Scriptures were written across three continents in three languages; penned and compiled over approximately 1600 years. Imagine—one majestic tapestry of truth designed to guide all men to the most spectacular relationship imaginable.

HOW DO WE KNOW THAT SHAKESPEARE WROTE ROMEO AND JULIET?

Ask yourself this: How do we know that Shakespeare actually wrote Romeo and Juliet? Were you there? How many original manuscripts are there of Romeo and Juliet? It’s only been a little over 400 years since it was written, and yet, not one reputable scholar doubts that Shakespeare penned Romeo and Juliet, for instance. We simply believe it to be fact. Oddly enough, there is not even one “original” manuscript or “author-supervised” publication of Romeo and Juliet. And that’s only a little over 400 years ago. Five quarto editions were published by others between 1597 and 1637, and the play was also included in the First Folio of 1623, published seven years after Shakespeare’s death. The texts from these and other sources were used to create subsequent editions of the play. We don’t even know the exact timing during which Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet, however, it was first performed in 1564 or 1565. Interesting though, a little over 400 years ago and not one original manuscript.

   To be fair, there are no original editions of the Bible either. So it cannot be that we trust in the literature of antiquity simply because we possess an “original” (a never-before-copied document). If original manuscripts of ancient works were to be our chief means of judging authenticity, then none of them would be valid. Not even Shakespeare. 

   It is believed that Moses wrote some, or all, of the first five books of the Old Testament around 1446 B.C... That’s over 3400 years ago. The oldest copies ever found of the Old Testament are fragments in Hebrew or Greek: The Silver Scrolls, dating between 700 and 650 B.C., the Septuagint, and the Dead Sea Scrolls, dating from 300 to 100 B. C.. There is really no one doubt that Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet. What about the Bible?

CRITERIA USED

According to the military historian, Dr. C. Saunders, two very important elements are used to determine the reliability of an ancient manuscript. First: what is the time gap between the original manuscript and the oldest copy we now have? And secondly: how many manuscripts are there in existence? Homers Iliad was written in approximately 900 B.C. There are no complete copies from that time, naturally fragmented parchment of parts. The Homeric papyri are, with the exception of a few ancient quotations, the oldest surviving witnesses to the text of Homer. These papyrus documents are all-fragmentary, and range in date from as early as the third century BC to the seventh century AD. The vast majority of the fragments were discovered in Egypt and now reside in collections located all over the world. The number of copies: 643.

THE OLD TESTAMENT

Leningrad Codex Cover

Leningrad codex

The Leningrad Codex, or Leningradensis, is the oldest complete Hebrew Bible still preserved. While there are older parts of Bibles or biblical books, still in existence, there is no older manuscript that contains the whole Hebrew Bible (the Old Testament in Hebrew). The Leningrad Codex is considered one of the best examples of the Masoretic text.

How old is the Manuscript?

The manuscript was written around the year 1010 A.D. It was probably written in Cairo, and later sold to someone living in Damascus.

Where is the Original Manuscript?

Today it is in St. Petersburg, Russia, in the Russian National Library (Saltykov-Shchedrin), where it has been since the mid-1800′s. When the Ancient Biblical Manuscript Center and West Semitic Research photographed the Bible in 1990, the city was still called Leningrad. The name of the manuscript continues to be called the Leningrad Codex in order to avoid confusion

THE NEW TESTAMENT 

As historians apply the same testing means to all ancient literature, to determine the accuracy and reliability of each individual work, it is clear that there is more evidence for the reliability of the New Testament than any other ten pieces of classical literature combined. Why? Because there are no original manuscripts for any of the classical books of antiquity (A manuscript is any document written by hand, as opposed to being printed or reproduced in some other way). Before the arrival of printing, all documents and books were manuscripts. The Gutenberg Bible (also known as the 42-line Bible, the Mazarin Bible or the B42) was the first major book printed in the West with movable type. It marked the start of the “Gutenberg Revolution” and the age of the printed book in the West. Preparation of it probably began soon after 1450, and the first finished copies of the Gutenberg Bible were available in 1454 or 1455.

According to Dr. Daniel B. Wallace, Executive Director of the Center for the Study of New Testament Manuscripts,

“As far as Greek manuscripts, over 5800 have been cataloged. The New Testament was translated early on into several other languages as well, such as Latin, Coptic, Syriac, Armenian, Georgian, Gothic, etc. The total number of these versional witnesses has not been counted yet, but it certainly numbers in the tens of thousands. At the same time, it should be pointed out that most of our manuscripts come from the second millennium AD, and most of our manuscripts do not include the whole New Testament. A fragment of just a verse or two still counts as a manuscript. And yet, the average size for a NT manuscript is more than 450 pages. As of 2013, there are more than 5,800 known cataloged Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. That number continues to grow yearly. Add over 10,000 Latin Vulgates and at least 9,300 other early manuscript versions in different languages and you have over 24,000 manuscript copies of portions of the New Testament in existence today. No other document of antiquity comes even close. In comparison to the Bible, the Iliad by Homer is second, with only 643 manuscripts (or portions) which have survived. The first complete preserved text of the Iliad of Homer dates from the 13th century. Now no one doubts that Homer wrote the Iliad. What about the Bible? 643 manuscripts to over 5,800?

So then, as far as reliable textual witnesses to the Bible, the texts of the Bible outweigh all written books of all antiquity.

WHO WAS THE BIBLE WRITTEN FOR?

Some have suggested that the Bible was written only for the believer, that it was not written for the unbeliever. We disagree. Faith comes by hearing, hearing the Word of God. The Bible says that we were all dead in trespasses and sin, having no hope, and without God in the world. The Creator had the Bible written for all of His creation so that all men would be able to make their own free-will decision. Let's remember, God’s will is for all men to be saved and to come unto a knowledge of the truth!

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. (1Tim 2:4)

THE GOD-BREATHED WORD

The God-breathed Word (the inspired words of God) unfold in splendor the entire plan of God’s design for His family. Those timeless words reveal His love; difficulties presented when men and women of free will deviate from The Lord’s fatherly advice and the consequences that may occur. The living words provide the truth that works yesterday, today and into the future.

The Bible reveals God’s enemy, Satan, and how that enemy set out to corrupt humanity, has succeeded partially, but will finally be destroyed. Satan’s infliction of misery upon many—immeasurable. The Scriptures reveal God’s unmatched love for His family, into which we are all invited, not by adoption, but by a new birth. A spectacular new reality. A whole, new, beautiful person learning to be filled with all God’s abundance. The Scriptures tell the unfolding story of Jesus Christ, the promised messiah, bringing mankind back to a state of harmony and fellowship with the Creator.

The God of the heavens and the earth declares that He is the author of the Bible and that He utilized many writers. Unparalleled, its truth has been changing the lives of men and women throughout the inhabited earth ever since the very first scriptures were etched—those, of course, are the Ten Commandments. God assures us that His Word is its own best proof of its inspiration. That’s God’s viewpoint; it is ours as well, first and foremost.

THE RELIABILITY OF THE BIBLE-AN ESSENTIAL BEGINNING

In striking contrast to what the Bible claims concerning itself, men, critics, and even some biblical scholars begin all examination into the integrity of the Bible (and for that matter any work of antiquity) by looking solely at the physical evidence of its origin. Having said that, God has assured us that first and foremost, the Scriptures, what we call The Holy Bible, and what The Almighty has named as His Word, was authored by Him, and was written by men as they were inspired by the Holy Spirit.

All scripture [is] given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Tim 3:16-17)

Unequivocally, all scripture was provided by God, and all were inspired by Him. Given by inspiration of God is the translation of the single Greek word theopneustos (θεόπνευστος). It means. God breathed; and even further—God inspired.

In Psalm 33:6 we read: “By the WORD of JEHOVAH were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the BREATH (or Spirit) of His mouth.”

Well, for heaven’s sake, why aren’t the scriptures perfect as is? Why didn’t God simply write them so that they could not be changed or trifled with; better yet, how about putting the Scriptures onto DVDs and into every language? How come they are so easily crumbled and had to be recopied over and over again from papyrus to papyrus?”

Our answer is both simple and profound. God saw to it that the Scriptures were protected and preserved with the technology available then—first stone, then paper and ink, finally the printing press. As technology advanced, so did the means of the availability of His Word. On another level, a Christian endeavor of almost 2,000 years could be substantially completed by 2025. Protestant translators expect to have the Bible—or at least a portion of it—written in every one of the world’s 6,909 spoken languages.

THE  WORLD"S ALL TIME BEST SELLER

The Bible is far-and-away the world’s greatest all-time bestseller. And still, mankind is not controlled by the Master of Creation, only encouraged to act in obedience for their own well-being. That is as true today as in any other time in history. This is the Age of Grace (more on that later.) This is the time of the Church of the Body of Christ, where all are fellow heirs, invited to be a part of God’s family. This is free will my friends. Free will separates us from slavery. Men and women may be workers together with God—or men may act, as they will. 

[Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17)

The full knowledge of God is revealed and found only in the person of Jesus Christ. The Scriptures reveal Christ. Christ reveals the Father. The Spirit reveals both God and His son Jesus Christ within the written word and the preached word, resulting in the manifested power of God in action, in every believer who has faith to act.

That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. (2Ti 3:17)

Perfect is the Greek word artios, defined as “thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” What a choice of words. Like me, perhaps you are asking yourself: “How am I to be perfect? In fact‒who among us is? The Greek word artios means to be fitted properly, like a ship being sent out on a long sea voyage. Understood in that light, the man (or woman) of God is to be fully equipped and prepared for any situation in life, spiritual or otherwise. Outfitted with the mind of Christ and those abilities to perform as Christ did and commanded his disciples to do, in Matthew 10: 8.

Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. (Matt 10:8)

Perhaps the greatest way that you know that the Bible is true is that you possess the proof of the reality of God in Christ in you, the Hope of Glory when you become born again of that Spirit of the new birth. You then are His, just as the Bible declares, enabled in all aspects of that gift.

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you. (John 16:13-14)

So then, we are excited to search the scriptures daily. To pray to God, to ask Him to unfold for us His great truths, His heart’s desire for our lives. We pray that God prepares our hearts to serve Him daily by love.

For this cause we also, since the day we heard [it], do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; (Col 1:9-10)

The truth is living in those who believe!

Anthony and Cynthia Barbera

To Read Part One of “Our Wondrous Bible” please see.

***Edited with thanks by Kathy Worthington.  6-15-16

Born Again — Newness of Life

Born Again — Newness of Life    By Anthony Barbera

renewedbutterfly

When you are born again, it is the greatest of all new beginnings. You are now born again and have newness of life.

"Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life." (Romans 6:4)

You repent—change your mind for the better and heartily look with abhorrence on your past sins. You confess the savior from sin and express to God that you are deeply sorry. You accept Christ as Lord. You have made a real decision to change. Then you are given the gift of the holy spirit: The Spirit of God in Christ in you. Literally, to be born again means to be born and fathered by the Father in heaven. Then one is saved: delivered from the penalties of the judgment that fell upon all mankind by the disobedience of Adam. Rescued. Eternal death is exchanged for Eternal Life.

To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory: Col 1:27

     A most awesome reality is that you are now blessed with a new spiritual nature. It is the nature of God residing and indwelling within you. Happily, you have decided to make Jesus Christ your Lord (that means your master). He is now the head of your life. But there is a wrinkle, a remnant of imperfection from the fall. It's your mind. How do you deal with what is sometimes the creepy ilk of your mind? Your new spirit is perfect. Your flesh (soul life), the part that contains your mind, unfortunately, is not. Only Jesus Christ walked a perfect walk with the Father. Only Jesus Christ had a perfectly renewed mind, always doing the Father’s will. His attitude was as follows.

I can of mine own self-do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not my own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me. John 5:30

   We wish to become fashioned in the likeness of our blessed Lord and Savior more and more,  day by day. Jesus consciously, with a determination made His Father’s will his own will. Do we continue down the same path of disillusion and bewilderment by continuing to live life our own way? Or, do we put all of our trust in Him—in everything? It is the love of God that leads men to repentance.   

   Without a doubt, one can be saved and remain miserable. Some of the meanest people on earth are Christians. That’s right—we said it. Let us repeat ourselves. A “born again” Christian can continue being nasty; the same cheating, backbiting, lying, lazy, selfish, overindulgent person he was before he got saved. Fortunately for all of us, there is great mercy and grace.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

   Here is our point. The newness of life occurs when we make him Lord. Our Master. Our desire and our heart become established and set upon him; our affections are in and for him. We surrender our life to Christ, and we agree with God. In newness of life and what emerges is an inspired and encouraged walk by the spirit. We don't change ourselves; His love changes us.

Casting down imaginations, [sense knowledge reasoning] and every high [false] thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Cor 10:5

   The first time I heard this verse I claimed out loud, “No way. I can’t bring every thought captive to him. It’s impossible.” God instructs us to be like Christ. You agree I’m sure with the following:

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:Phil 2:15

We are ultimately going to join our brother in the heavens. Without question, we will have a new nature.

But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor 2:9

This is where God is leading us. To be like Christ.

That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.  Eph 4:22-24

   This “new man,” this new creation within you, which God has created, has the Spirit of God within. It is all in all. The spirit which God gives to you is not an earthly bodily organ like your heart or kidney. It fills all and all. It makes you completely complete in Him. The Creator gifts you inherent spiritual power. Whether you utilize that power or not, is completely up to you. There is only one requirement: faith. One. You must believe. You must believe that what He has instructed in His Word is true. You must believe that you are now who He says you are, and not what the world of men (by way of that accuser, Satan), declares you are. You are now what God says you are!

For this cause also thank we God without ceasing, because, when ye received the word of God which ye heard of us, ye received [it] not [as] the word of men, but as it is in truth, the word of God, which effectually worketh also in you that believe. 2 Thes 2:13

   Here is the temporal rub. Last we heard, your mind still harbors the old memories and thought patterns left over from the old nature (the worldly nature). Certainly, here is a challenge. We are to reckon the “old man” dead. Reckon means to account or regard a situation settled. He’s dead. Period. Wish him a fond farewell.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Rom 12:2

We are allowing our minds to replace the ideas and thoughts of the world and men with the ideas and thoughts of God. We are to imitate the master, Jesus Christ.

   To be transformed is to be changed—or transfigured, and that is by way of the renewing, or renovation of your mind. A complete change for the better. Our new form is spiritual, and our new nature, is one that God is providing for us. We’re excited to become used to its goodness and wholeness.

Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, [even] the law of commandments [contained] in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, [so] making peace; Eph 2:15

One new man fashioned in his likeness.

   Now we realize that when there is a bad memory, we cannot always erase it from our minds. However, we replace the old with the new and those less pleasing events of the past finally fade as time passes. We’re also quite sure that it is available for God to completely erase something that needs to be gone. God can and does heal to the uttermost. Either way, in the process, we become more like him and take on the heavenly nature of God. We put away the things of the world: lying, cheating, stealing, corrupt communication (we could go on all day), and we begin to exhibit the fruit of the spirit, which is: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. We become like him. That is why we replace the old memories and ideas, with the words that God has provided for us. The words of life. The words that protect and guide us.

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, and [they] are life. John 6:63

   By Godly design, you and I have been fully equipped. In Ephesians 6:13, God instructs us to take unto ourselves the whole (complete) armor of God. No soldier would ever consider going to battle without his gear. Without preparing. So why would we? We are in a war, spiritual in nature—deadly and physical in its consequences. The sword of the spirit is the Word of God. As we put the words of God into our mind, we flood our minds with light. Remember, the Word is quick (alive), and powerful. The light of God’s Word drives the darkness out!

   The living Word is not simply words spoken, but instead words he speaks now! So much so that we are to replace the words of our mind with the words of God. Thus, we renew our mind with the newness of God’s creation is us. We come to God ablaze with thankfulness and the desire to serve Him. We are ready and willing to bury the old life, and with it, the “old man.”

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ lives and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20

   More than anything else Christ is the head of the body. Christ is the head of the church. We abound in our excitement in serving him as the head of the body.

 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all [things] he might have the preeminence. Col 1:18

   It pleased God to make Jesus Christ the head of His Church, and ultimately every knee will bow to him. Jesus Christ made his purpose in life, to do his Father’s will. He committed himself to doing what his Father asked him to do. We too can choose to walk in newness of life.

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; Phil 2:10

   Yes! That means every name. Every disease and sickness, frailty and fear. However, we have a bit of work to do. Work. Not works, (as in you can make your life better yourself.) We are saying very simply and plainly that you now have the opportunity to serve just like Jesus Christ! Some teach that all that power to operate like Christ died when the apostles died. That he gave it to them and no one else. Is there some real reason why the apostles could walk with the power and authority that Jesus conveyed to them, and we cannot? No! The only reason we don’t (if we don’t), is that we don’t believe that we can. Some idea or somebody has talked us out of it. Why not clear any obstacles or doctrine or theology or previous ideas that clutter the way to us walking as the spiritual men and women we desire to be. The Word of God is our sole basis for truth. Certainly, you wish to be guided by the holy spirit in prayer, and meditation upon the Word of God, however, that guidance will never be at cross purposes with the Word of God. Never. The supreme authority of truth is the Bible and not men.

   Climb into your bulldozer (spiritually speaking) and clear the path of any idea—any high[false] thing that exalts itself against the promises of God. Bury them forever. Either the following verse is true—or it is not. This is what God intends for us. Nothing less.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he also do; and greater [works] than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. John 14:12

   You can do the things that Jesus Christ did and more. Someone’s always jumping up at this point and saying, “That can’t be true!” Well, I’ll give you examples of two things that Christ could not do, and you can do.

·       You can lead a man or woman into the new birth. This was not possible for Jesus because it wasn’t yet available. Not until the day of Pentecost.

        You may speak in tongues, and he could not. It is one of nine manifestations of the Holy Spirit and was only made available after the day of Pentecost.

   The encouragement here is that we may be able to walk with all that his death and resurrection have made available for us. The purpose is that we may serve God by serving mankind the bread of life. In newness of life, as Christ did.

   Because you are born again, saved and filled with the power of God will you do everything perfectly? No! Rejoice anyway; you will grow up into him, the fullness that fills all and all. In Romans 6:3, Paul states we are "baptized unto death" meaning that we are not only dead to our former ways, but they are buried. To return to them is as unthinkable as it is for one to dig up a corpse. Halleluiah, we’re a new creation in him. Praise God! Thanks to Jesus Christ.

   We are to allow the Spirit of God to have preeminence in our lives. He will not do it for us; we must let this mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Phil 2:5

  As we allow the Spirit of God to enliven our thinking, the “old man” falls by the wayside, and we exhibit the love of God in the renewed mind. After all, it is by way of the goodness of God, who first loved us and gave His son for us, that newness of life takes place, and we rejoice in the love of God.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless, I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal 2:20

In His love,

Anthony Barbera

Living Epistles

LIVING EPISTLES

"You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men." 2 Cor 3:2

faith logo

was reminded the other day of how important it is to fellowship with other Christians within the body of Christ, daily if possible. As Paul encouraged the saints at Corinth to remain the living embodiment of Jesus Christ, read of all men, so too are we invited to do likewise.

    As a Christian, people take note of you, whether you realize it or not. How you speak to them and in what manner you conduct your affairs, regardless of how easy or difficult at times that may be. Paul reminds the Corinthians that it is the heart of love and the spirit of God that is revealed by them. Living Epistles. Not by the law, or rules and regulations, but by the spirit of God working to do of His good pleasure. The spirit gives life. When we hear the Word of God "fitly" spoken it touches our very souls. It stirs up the spirit within and encourages us, and we, in turn, support one another. Likewise, when we speak the Word of God to another, it can touch that person's life forever without us even being aware of the outcome. God's Word is alive; it accomplishes what He purposes. When we are together, one with another, the spirit reminds of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Our spirits are linked together with His making intercession with and for the saints. We are joint heirs. God has assembled His people, the body of Christ to honor Him and to love one another as living epistles, known and read of all men.

   When we hear the Word of God "fitly" spoken it reaches into our very souls. It stirs up the spirit within and encourages us, and we, in turn, build up one another. Likewise, when we speak the Word of God to a person not a member of the body of Christ, it can touch that person's life forever without us even being aware of the outcome. God's Word is alive, it accomplishes what He purposes. Our spirits are linked together with His allowing intercession between our creator all of the saints. Joint heirs, God has assembled His people, the body of Christ to honor Him and to love one another as living epistles, known and read of all men.

Gratitude to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Anthony Barbera 10-16-14 

People know Christ by how they know you!

Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. (2 Cor 3:6)

Today is Tomorrow, One Day Sooner

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Today is One Day Sooner.

Let's not be discouraged if this was not the day. Today is tomorrow, one day sooner. A day of life is a day of renewal. Our majestic Father & His faithful son Jesus Christ will bring to pass the fullness of their promise when the body is completely full. Let's remind ourselves:  "Preach the gospel! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching." (2 Timothy 4:2) 

It's a pertinent reminder for us all to lovingly inspire, oneanother in our daily life. To those hurting, bring the the "good news"; there is a world full of bad news. It's the love of God that leads man to repentance. His will, will be done. Of that, we are assured.   

Lovingly,                                                                                                              Anthony Barbera 

9-23-17 ( 9:04 AM)

Patricia Barbera

Patricia Barbera 14 years old

 Patricia C. Barbera

On April 8, 2012,  Resurrection Sunday, our dear mother, Patricia C. Barbera, fell asleep. She had a profound impact upon our lives; this is a 7-minute picture tribute to her life. We will see her again!

Celebration of Life Video

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: Then we which are alive [and] remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore comfort one another with these words. (1Th 4:16-18 KJV)


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Did God Make Me Sick?

crossby Anthony Barbera

"Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies."   (Ps 103:2-4)

Can it be true that God makes us sick? Did God make me sick? Why?  Has it actually become accepted among Christians that God makes us sick to "try" or "test" our faith? And that ultimately, when sickness leads to death, it is the final test, and that we are now ready to be taken by him to heaven? Can this really be true? Is this how a loving God deals with his creation? Not exactly reassuring, is it? Beyond that, has this idea crept into the Church by way of a misinterpretation of the Word of God? Or is it, in fact, an attack upon God our Father by his Archenemy?

    Has Satan perpetrated his evil doings, fooled many, and convinced the church that God is the one who causes calamity, trial, sickness, and death, when in fact, it is our enemy, Satan, the god of this world, who is the real trier of God's people? We will go to the Scriptures to see whether these things are so, and we will allow the Word of God to be our standard for truth, not the creeds of men, who all too often teach as truth, the commandments of men, and call them God’s commandments. We will try to use Greek sparingly. However, there is a Greek word that must be understood. It is the Greek word peirazo (πειράζω). It appears in the New Testament a total of 39 times with different translations: tempt (29), try (4), tempter (2), prove (1), assay (1), examine (1), and go about (1).

   Why is it important to examine this Greek word? Because understanding how this word has been translated from the original Greek into English, and how it is used today, will allow us to get to the bottom of this false accusation heaped upon our loving Father. Just think for a moment: if our God says that He heals all our diseases, that He forgives all of our sins, that he crowns us with loving-kindness and tender mercy, why would that same God test us with sickness and disease?  Is there an answer? We will see.

   Let’s look at how this word is used throughout the New Testament. We will find, with just a little due diligence, that we can see very clearly the truth. We don’t have to be theologians to do this. We will look at key verses among the 39 used. I will provide you a listing of all the verses at the end of this article so that you may look them up at your leisure.

   The first time the Greek word (peirazo) is used, it is correctly translated as tempted. As a matter of fact, the translation is not the problem. As we will see, the problem lies in an inaccurate application of the situations where this word is used. I’ll give you a hint: The New Testament never once (in 39 verses), says or implies that God tempts you, or that He tempted Jesus Christ, or that He tempted the apostles. So then where did we get this idea that He tempts us? We will see very clearly.

             Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil (Matt 4:1).

In this first example, it is very clear that the devil is tempting Jesus Christ in the wilderness. Additionally, in Mark 1:13 and Luke 4:2 he also is tempted by the devil in the wilderness. In Matthew, obviously, Satan is the one referred to as the tempter. 

   And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread (Matt 4:3).

In Matt 16: The Pharisees and Sadducees tempt Jesus, in order to get him to show them a sign. Calling them wicked and adulterous, he tells them that they will see no sign but the sign of the prophet Jonah. Many times throughout the gospels, Jesus is tempted or tried by the Pharisees and Sadducees, who hope to entice him to say or do something that will in some way incriminate him. At no time throughout the Gospels does it ever say, or even infer, that God tempted Jesus Christ, tried him, or put him to the test, for that matter. Our Savior knew that his "meat" was to do the will of his Father, to finish His work. He was tempted all right, but it wasn't by God.

Let’s look at another example. Here is a situation where the Pharisees and the Sadducees come again tempting, asking him to show them a sign from heaven.

The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven (Matt 16:1).

In Matt 22:18, Jesus perceives their wickedness and asks, "Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?"

In the gospel of John, Jesus proves or tests Philip. The same word [peirazo] is used in the Greek but translated as proves.

And this he said to prove him: for he knew what he would do (John 6:6).

  The Scripture says that Jesus knew what he was going to do, but wanted to see whether Philip had faith. Unquestionably, throughout the gospels, many, many times Jesus is tempted by Satan and the religious leaders of his time, and this one time, working with his disciples, he proves Philip—to see if he does have faith. Never does Jesus say or infer that God tempts you, let alone that He will make you sick; in fact, the opposite is true: Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of sickness and all manner of disease among the people. 

   So if Jesus never taught that God makes you sick to test you, where did this idea come from? Let’s look at our times, the grace administration, and see if God indeed tempts us after the day of Pentecost, or makes us sick. In Acts 5:9, Peter directly accuses Ananias and Sapphira of tempting the Spirit of the Lord. Wow, we sure don’t want to be those guys.

Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? Behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out (Acts 5:9).  

Further on, in Acts 15:10, Peter speaks among the apostles and elders, as they consider whether new believers should be circumcised. His answer is that God purified their hearts by faith, and why would they wish to further test these new believers? In other words, how will this ritual help them to grow spiritually?

Now, therefore, why tempt ye, God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear? (Acts 15:10)

In 1 Cor 7:5, husbands and wives are encouraged to give one another due benevolence so that Satan doesn’t "tempt" either one of them sexually.

Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency (1 Cor 7:5).

We are encouraged not to tempt our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents (1 Cor 10:9).

In Corinthians, we are encouraged to prove ourselves. To look deeply at our own spiritual walk.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves   (2 Cor 13:5).

In Galatians, we are encouraged to forgive people’s mistakes with meekness, always remembering that we have all come short of the glory of God. We have all been tempted and will continue to be.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted (Gal 6:1).

Paul encourages the Thessalonians, reminding them that we all suffer persecution and that Satan tempts all of us.

For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labour be in vain (1 Thes 3:5).

In Hebrews, we are encouraged, in that Jesus Christ was tempted in every fashion just as we are. And because of that, he is able to lift us up.

For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted (Heb 2:18).

Examine the rest of the Scriptures below, and you will find this point that partially answers our question:

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it (1 Cor 10:13).

Some have taught that Paul's thorn in the flesh was sickness and that God inflicted it upon Paul to prove him up and to test him. We do not believe that the Scriptures support this idea. Nowhere does it say that Paul's thorn in the flesh was sickness or disease.

We are tempted in life, but it is not God doing the tempting. He will deliver us. We may be tried with great difficulty, but it isn't by God. Last we heard, the devil was the god of this world. Christians need to stop blaming God for what his enemy causes. With the fall of Adam, we were immersed into a world of temptation. It is common to man. As duly noted, all men face temptation, and trial, and tribulation. Nowhere in Scripture does it state that God tries our faith, or makes us sick to build our faith. Some surmise that since Job was tested by Satan, with God's apparent consent, that God tries us as well. We don't live in the Old Testament, and even if that were true (which it isn't), one needs to know and recognize to whom is the Old Testament written?

The world, through Satan, tries us without ceasing. Nowhere in the New Testament does it say that God makes us sick for his purposes. It is a despicable lie, perpetrated by the fiendish god of this world. How could God, who cares about our welfare, heals all of our diseases and forgives all of our transgressions, at the same time hurl sickness upon us? Well, the fact is, he doesn’t. If you need any further biblical proof that God does not tempt us, here it is.

Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed (Jas 1:13-14).

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Rom 5:1-5)

Can Our God Use a Trying Situation to Our Benefit?

It is clear that through the difficulties of life we can develop patience, trust, and faith in our God. When we are pressed and learn to look only to God, we learn to walk with endurance, and we prevail still, God standing with us as we look forward toward the blessed return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution (2 Tim 3:12).

  • Matt 4:1 Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.
  • Matt 4:3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.
  • Matt 16:1 The Pharisees also with the Sadducees came, and tempting desired him that he would shew them a sign from heaven.
  • Matt 19:3 The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause?
  • Matt 22:18 But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, Why tempt ye me, ye hypocrites?
  • Matt 22:35 Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked [him a question], tempting him, and saying,
  • Mark 1:13 And he was there in the wilderness forty days, tempted of Satan; and was with the wild beasts, and the angels ministered unto him.
  • Mark 8:11 And the Pharisees came forth, and began to question with him, seeking of him a sign from heaven, tempting him.
  • Mark 10:2 And the Pharisees came to him, and asked him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife? Tempting him.
  • Mark 12:15 Shall we give, or shall we not give? But he, knowing their hypocrisy, said unto them, Why tempt ye me? Bring me a penny, that I may see it.
  • Luke 4:2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.
  • Luke 11:16 And others, tempting him, sought of him a sign from heaven.
  • Luke 20:23 But he perceived their craftiness, and said unto them, Why tempt ye me?
  • John 6:6 And this he said to prove him: for he himself knew what he would do.
  • John 8:6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
  • Acts 5:9 Then Peter said unto her, How is it that ye have agreed together to tempt the Spirit of the Lord? behold, the feet of them which have buried thy husband are at the door, and shall carry thee out .
  • Acts 15:10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?
  • Acts 16:7 After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.
  • Acts 24:6 Who also hath gone about to profane the temple: whom we took, and would have judged according to our law.
  • 1 Cor 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
  • 1 Cor 10:9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
  • 1 Cor 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
  • 2 Cor 13:5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?
  • Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
  • 1 Thess 3:5 For this cause, when I could no longer forbear, I sent to know your faith, lest by some means the tempter have tempted you, and our labor be in vain.
  • Heb 2:18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
  • Heb 3:9 When your fathers tempted me, proved me and saw my works forty years.
  • Heb 4:15 For we have not a high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
  • Heb 11:17 By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son,
  • Heb 11:37 They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented;
  • Jas 1:13 Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:
  • Jas 1:14 But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
  • Rev 2:2 I know thy works, and thy labor, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles and are not, and hast found them, liars:
  • Rev 2:10 Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
  • Rev 3:10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

With Grace and Peace,

Anthony Barbera

*All Scripture quoted is from the King James Version unless otherwise noted. 

Ed: Thanks, Kathy.

Fellowship and Experience

By Anthony Barbera 
 

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Fellowship & Experience
 
"Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and    forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases." Psalm 103:1-3

Sometimes we associate large numbers with greatness; size, with power and might. Certainly, those are worldly ideas. When one man or woman joins the family of God, there is great rejoicing; a miracle has occurred - a greater miracle than any you and I have ever witnessed. It's not only a life being saved from disease and sickness, it is a life of eternity with God.
When an individual is healed from sickness and disease, or from torment of any kind, there is tremendous rejoicing within the body of Christ.  "...there is joy in the presence of the angels over one sinner that repents." Luke 15:10
When the body of Christ fellowships one with another, and an understanding, a full sharing and an opening of the scriptures takes place, there is great rejoicing. God is praised in prayer and in thankfulness.
   
A second reflection is this: we must not elevate our personal experience above the truth of the Word of God. Your personal experiences with salvation, walking with God, etc., are clearly meaningful you. How God works with you and I differs in ways that are particular to how you and I are best able to receive something from him. He is a personal God. Your experience may not be true for someone else. 
We don't teach our experience as a principle or doctrine. The Word of God is our doctrine, not our experience. When ministering, we wish to keep our personal thoughts out of it; let God direct. Let him lead us by way of the Spirit which is within us. The outward appearance or facial expression of a person is not necessarily indicative of what is going on in their heart and mind.That is why we operate the manifestations of the spirit. They are for us to use to reveal to us what the Holy Spirit is showing us by way of Word of Knowledge, Word of Wisdom and Discerning of Spirits, to bring His deliverance to the person with His love and power. 
Blessed to Serve with You,
 
Anthony Barbera

 

Led by the Spirit

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"Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the  Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,." Luke 4:"God, who at sundry [many] times and in divers [different] manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by [his] Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things..." (Hebrews 1-2)

Let us be clear about this and not make a mistake in our understanding. We love God’s Word, the Holy Scriptures. The Bible is our primary source for the truth, our owner’s manual if you will. In this owners manual, we are instructed that we who confess Jesus as our Lord may speak with our Creator now—by way of the spirit of Christ within us. And he may speak with us. Our realm of existence is the supernatural, in his presence. Consequently, we are constantly encouraged to fellowship with God and to walk by the spirit—letting God direct our way.

Hereby we know that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit (1 Jn. 4:13)

So is the Bible any less important or of lesser value now that we may speak directly with our heavenly Father? No! A thousand times no! What God, the Creator speaks to us now is of equal value as what he has had written.

But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. (Matthew 4:4)

Our connection to God is the spirit of Christ within us; it is direct. You and I may receive the word(s) of God directly by way of the Spirit from God. There is no veil or separation. Therefore, if God speaks to us, and asks us, by way of his spoken word, to do something (to take an assignment) if you will, then we do so. Many times the revelation comes directly by way of the knowledge of the scriptures. A particular scripture (embedded within our memory) may be the exact answer needed, as God inspires us with his living word.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (John 1:1)

We Are To Walk By The Spirit

We are to walk by faith, and not by sight; to walk by the spirit and not by our five senses. Because we are a new creation, never before having existed until Christ was formed in us (the day that we were born again), this “new man” is designed to walk and talk with God by the spirit. The Word of God to you, by way of the spirit, is no less valid, important, or timely than the Holy Bible. Simply think back. Was the New Testament available to Jesus during his ministry? No, it was not. Indisputably, he had mastered the Old Testament, walked with God, talked with God—and always did the Father's will.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)

Jesus spoke the words that God his Father gave him to speak. The words given to Jesus to speak to the world were later written in the gospels. All is the Word of God, and as you and I speak on behalf of our Heavenly Father, we too are speaking the Word of God. God is able to deliver to the utmost, and he does that by providing very specific information (revelation) to us at exactly the right moment, so that we may operate on his behalf and accomplish his desires. The Words of God in the Bible go hand-in hand, with the words of God from his spirit: Christ in you—the hope of glory.
God's Word -The Foundation For Truth!

Yet, unmistakably, the scriptures will never be at cross-purposes with God’s revelation to us by the spirit. The one complements and confirms the other. Some might say: "Well, they were letters to the churches first. There was no New Testament when the apostles began to move with the things of God after Jesus had died." This is true, however, it didn't take God long to have the New Testament compiled by his writers: holy men of God who were moved by the holy spirit. As we hide the Word in our hearts, God is able to bring to mind those very scriptures which we need for a given situation.

Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit; (Eph 3:5)

                           Whose words did Jesus say he spoke in John 12:49-50?

For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)

Jesus spoke the words that God his Father gave him to speak. The words were given to Jesus, and he spoke to the world. These words were soon recorded in the gospels by four of his closest disciples, first-hand eye-witnesses. Without question, authored by God as he inspired his holy men to speak and write. The good news of Jesus was given to the world, that we may know him, and that he came from God the Father. You might say: "Well, that was Jesus—not us!" We would respond: "We have been commissioned to walk in the steps of the risen Christ here on earth. We can do those things through Christ which strengthens us."

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)

Teaching, Preaching, and Inspiration

Teaching or preaching are not the same. They share qualities. They both deliver a message but do so in unique ways. For that matter, people share God’s Word in distinct ways. Some love to simply preach the Word, others love to teach. (Plan it. Meditate upon the subject or topic). Some may be adept at both. Neither is better, or more spiritually advanced than the other. (Obviously, both situations require that the person be inspired by God). Either manner may serve a different function depending on the situation, or the needs and spiritual hunger or maturity (or lack thereof) of the listeners!

Now let's digress for just a moment. Some of late, have suggested that it is far better to share God's Word without having thought out what was to be taught. That way, to some peoples’ way of thinking, the message becomes spiritually more vibrant, not tainted, and immediately relevant to the spiritual needs at that moment. Perhaps they would point to Peter's declaration on the day of Pentecost. He just stood up, preached the Word, and about 5,000 believed. Without trying to go into a formal definition of the differences between preaching and teaching, (there are many different Greek words we would wish to consider), common use and practice may suggest that preaching occurs in a less thought-out pre-conceived manner. It may involve any number of people being preached to. One or thousands. It is a now, inspired, walking with God event. But we have to say: only the person knows how much they may have been dwelling upon something and talking to God about it previously.

Whereas teaching is usually thought-out, planned and perhaps meditated upon event where you are delving into the Word of God in a structured manner. Where there is an unfolding of an idea, or qualities of a person's life, or any number of fantastic things. The relevant point is: teaching or preaching may occur in manifold different ways. You may preach to one person or you may teach one person. Then again, you might be inspired (meditating deeply) over the course of days, weeks or even months to write or teach; to bring to light great spiritual understanding.

The point that we would like to stress is this: One is not better than the other. Preaching is not greater than teaching or teaching than preaching—they are simply different. God works with each member of the body individually. Each means requires walking by the spirit to be genuinely purposeful. We should not judge the relevance of how God communicates through us—more importantly that he does.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (Isa 55:11 KJV)

Preaching Is Not Greater Than Teaching—They Are Simply Different

God's Word was, is, and always shall be with God. God created all things in the beginning by way of his Word. His Word was spoken to the patriarchs. Moses said that the Word of God was in the hearts and mouths of the people of Israel; this same Word came to the prophets. God sent his Word to earth in the human form of his Son, Jesus Christ, who preached that Word, who lived and died a human being on the cross and was raised again to eternal life. The first born of many brethren.

And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak. (John 12:49-50)

Remarkably, there are many different types of people within the Body of Christ (the Body of Christ is what God calls the church of the body today). Christ is the head! Wondrously, God gave the church five gift ministries; long-suits (special abilities to men and women who serve God’s people) specifically for the perfecting of the saints. (Yes, if in doubt, God refers to you as a saint). I know, it is hard to believe.

The Five Gift Ministries

Apostles: Those who bring new light to their generation.

Prophets: Those who speak for God, foretelling what will occur if God’s people listen, or don’t listen to him; or, forth-telling; Words of God, communicated to his people for a specific purpose at any given time.

Evangelists: Those who win people to Christ, heralding the good news by preaching and giving testimonies of the goodness of God and what is available to them.

Pastors: Those who continually nurture and care for God’s people.

Teachers: Those who aptly teach the accuracy and integrity of God’s Word to God’s people, to bring deeper understanding of his Word and Will in their lives.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edivying of itself in love. (Ephesians 4: 11-15)

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet and a Light Unto My Path

God gave us his written Word, which when clearly and accurately taught and believed, is our standard for truth—so that we will not be deceived by false teachers. He gave us his spirit to walk with him on a moment by moment basis. It behooves us, as his children, to take the time in our lives to sew and hide his Word in our hearts, which will benefit us for our entire lives, as God’s spirit in us can bring to our remembrance just the right scripture, or Godly concept, at the right time. We are no longer to be tossed about or carried away.

We allow God to teach and guide us as we read and study his Word and are led by the spirit. Studying is not only reading the boor study materials but then meditating upon it, digesting it until it becomes a permanent part of the very fabric of our being. It’s God that enlightens the eyes of our understanding. God wants us to know and not question or doubt what he is showing us.

Thy Word is a Lamp Unto My Feet and a Light Unto My Path (Psalm 119:105)

This comes with just beginning to walk with him in the steps of our brother Jesus Christ, moment by moment—day by day—being led by the spirit. We then develop confidence in God working within us: to will and to do of his good pleasure. It becomes our very nature without any stress or strain! The words of God’s Word begin to replace the old thoughts and ideas which exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. Being led by the spirit and allowing the Word of God, written and spoken, to guide us, will light our way, shining as bright lights in this dark world.

With pleasure, lovingly serving with you in the Body of Christ,

Anthony and Cindy Barbera

Our Wondrous Bible - Part I

bible New old TestThe Bible is the most wondrous, exhilarating and majestic book of all time. 

The God of the heavens and the earth is its author. Unparalleled, its wisdom has been guiding the inhabited earth ever since the very first scriptures were written, those, of course, being the Ten Commandments.

 Some of the many questions asked about the Bible by those who are seeking the truth concerning life are:

  • Did the Bible really come from God?
  • Does the Bible have relevance to me in my life—today?
  • Can God assist me to get out of a difficult situation?
  • Does the Bible show me how to reach out to God?
  • Is it God's heart and desire for all mankind?
  • Is it the only true reality?
  • If the Bible is reliable, and if I both understand it and live by the precepts, will my life become better?
  • Is it where I find the truth?
  • Will it help me become a better person?

THE RELIABILITY OF THE BIBLE - AN ESSENTIAL BEGINNING

The Bible is its own best proof of its inspiration. So, we will start there: 

For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost. (2Pet 1:21 KJV)

   That’s God’s viewpoint. Let’s discuss that first and foremost. God inspired men, they spoke, and it was written. Some have suggested that the Bible was written only for the believer, that it was not written for the unbeliever, the critic. We disagree. Faith comes by hearing the words of God. We were all without God and without hope. The Creator had the Bible written for us, his creation. It unfolds in splendor the entire plan of God’s design for his family. His love, the difficulties presented when men and women have free will to follow his suggested path, or, to deviate from it. The Bible reveals God’s enemy, Satan, and how the enemy set out to corrupt humanity, has succeeded partially, but will finally be destroyed. The scriptures reveal God’s unmatched love for his family, into which all are invited to belong, not by adoption, but by a new birth. A spectacular new reality. A whole, new, and beautiful person learning to be filled with all God’s abundance.

   In striking contrast to what the Bible claims concerning itself, men, critics, and even some Bible scholars begin all examination into the integrity of the Bible (and for that matter any work of antiquity) by looking solely at the scientific evidence of its origin. Even so, God has assured us that above all, the Scriptures, what we call The Holy Bible, and what The Almighty has named as his Word was authored by him, and written by men who were inspired by the Holy Spirit, as to what to write.

All Scripture [is] (God-Breathed) given by inspiration of God, and [is] profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, (2Tim 3:16 NKJV)

Is it really that difficult to believe that the Creator of the heavens and the earth could easily find the wherewithal to both inspire and author the writing of a book, and further, watch over his creation so that it could live from generation to generation?

THE WORLD'S ALL-TIME BEST SELLER

The Bible Society of the United Kingdom calculates that the number of Bibles printed between 1816 and 1975 was 2,458,000,000. By 1992 the estimated number rose to nearly six billion. Furthermore, worldwide sales of the Bible number more than a staggering 100 million each year, far outpacing any other book in history. In 2014, 428.2 million Scriptures were distributed by Bible Societies, including full Bibles, Testaments, Gospels and other smaller Scripture items. Without a doubt, the Bible is the best-selling book of all time. This means that as of 2007 approximately 7.5 billion Bibles have been distributed throughout world—with the vast majority still available for use! And these figures do not include the various digital versions of the Bible being used today by millions of computers, e-readers, and iPhones. Currently, the complete Bible has been published in over 450 languages. The New Testament alone has been published in nearly 1,400 languages, with the Gospel of Mark in over 2,370 languages. Although these figures represent less than half of the languages and dialects presently in use in the world, they nonetheless include the primary vehicles of communication for well over 90% of the world’s population.

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it. (Isa 55:11)

   God has provided us with his Word, so that he may unveil himself to us. The Almighty chose the written word to reveal his innermost thoughts. Could he have created a DVD or a movie, or even made a record and sang his desire, to communicate with us? The answer is superfluous; in God’s wisdom, he chose the written word. With his words, he spoke the universe into creation. The Bible consists of two parts: the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is the account of a nation: Israel. God’s chosen people at that time. The New Testament is the account of a man: Jesus, God's Son. Israel was brought into existence by God, and nurtured by a long suffering God to bring the man Jesus Christ into the world. That man would be the one to pay the ultimate penalty for the failure of the first man Adam, who gave mankind's dominion over the earth to God's enemy, Satan. The Christ would redeem mankind, pay the death sentence over mankind, and walk in a manner befitting a human being, a true son of God (the way the Creator had intended man to behave and live). The Christ will rule over his father’s kingdom until the fullness of time arrives and he gives back all authority to his God and father. Acting as the loving son. 

THE BIBLE HAS INTEGRITY

Integrity is the state of being whole and complete, truthful, upright, and honoring one’s word as one’s self. God’s desire is that we fill our minds with his words, replacing the world’s words with the promises of God from the Bible.

  • The Bible provides hope in a hopeless world.
  • The Bible answers the question of who you really are. 
  • The Bible directs our steps in the right way. 
  • The Bible reveals the heart of God. 
  • The Bible shows us how to pray and to reflect the gift of the Holy Spirit of God. 
  • It gives us certainty in an unsure world.

We Don't Worship the Book—We Follow Its Guidance and Worship, the Author “What you believe about the Bible, Gods Word, can alter and enhance your life course, causing the most profound of impacts upon your life both now and throughout eternity.”

_Anthony Barbera

© Anthony Barbera 2016


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Swallowed By A Whale?

By Anthony Barbera

whale2020Was Jonah Actually Swallowed By a Whale? Some have suggested that it is impossible for a man to be swallowed by a whale. Even more impossible, to live and then to tell about it? Jonah didn't think so. Neither did

 James Bartley. The Truth or a fable? The story dates back to the late 19th century and involves a whaling ship named the 'Star of the East,' operating off the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic. 

  According to most accounts, a whale was sighted, the harpoon boats were launched, and the whale was successfully speared. In the violence that followed, however, one of the smaller boats capsized, throwing two crew members into the sea. 

   One of them drowned and the other, said to be a man named James Bartley, disappeared. The whale was eventually subdued and its carcass hoisted onto the ship where the crew started carving it up for blubber.

   After a couple of days of work, they got down to the stomach, where some workers noticed something large inside, 'doubled up,' and showing signs of life. They cut the stomach open and there lay James Bartley, unconscious and somewhat digested, but alive. They doused him with sea water, put him in the captain's cabin and after a couple of weeks of recovery, he was back on the job.

  Most accounts of the story also include a detailed description of what Bartley experienced and felt during his whale of a journey. He is quoted as saying that he remembered flying through the air when the whale struck the boat with its tail – and then suddenly being in darkness and slipping along a smooth passage of some sort. He then came into a larger area marked by a slimy substance that seemed to shrink from his touch. He finally realized that he was in the whale. 

  He said that he could breathe, but that it was very hot in there. At some point he lost consciousness, and the next thing he remembered was being cared for by the crew. Some versions of the story say his skin was permanently affected by the gastric juices in the whale, and that he had a bleached white appearance for the remainder of his life. Other versions describe his skin as having been left with a bluish color.

  There have been a few other, similar stories, but researchers suspect that they all have the same origin. 
The story of James Bartley is therefore of greatest interest since there are so many accounts of it and they include enough information to allow some good digging to be done.

  To be fair, others have disputed this story, just as they have the story of Jonah. Whether this is true or not, this is certain; Jonah was swallowed by a "great fish."  But nowhere is the Hebrew or the Greek does it say that he was swallowed by a whale.


The Biblical account of Jonah being swallowed by a whale is well known to Christians, Jewish worshipers and school children the world over. In the Biblical account of Jonah, he was thrown overboard by the sailors on the ship he had hired on to (after much debate and dread) during a ferocious storm at sea. In the Book of Jonah, we read that “The LORDhad prepared a great fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.” (Jonah 1:17, King James Version).

In the New Testament, we read Christ's words that He, (Jesus Christ) will be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth, just as Jonah was “three days and three nights in the whale's belly.” (Matthew 12:40.)

A WHALE IS NOT A FISH, NOR DOES IT SAY THAT JONAH WAS SWALLOWED BY A WHALE.

Now a whale is not a fish; it is a mammal. So, in the Old Testament we are told Jonah was swallowed by a “great fish,” and in the New Testament we are told it was a “whale.” Is this a contradiction?

No.

   The Bible was written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, not in English. And both “whale” and “great fish” are English translations of the original words. If we look in a Greek Interlinear or a Bible Dictionary, we find the explanation.

   The Greek word translated “whale” is  κ?τοςketos (pronounced kay-tou), and it means “a huge fish (as gaping for prey).” Other scholars say it can mean a huge aquatic creature, which could be a fish, a whale or some other giant sea animal. In any case, the Bible says God prepared the creature to swallow Jonah, whatever type of fish that was.

   When the King James Version of the Bible was released in 1611, our modern taxonomic distinctions between fishes and mammals had not yet been decided on, so the translators were justified in choosing a whale as the giant “fish.” It was the greatest sea creature known to them.

So a note on my writing of Jonah—In the Time of the Kings. What kind of fish did I choose and why?

   I choose a whale. Besides that, I chose a particular type of whale. The Book of Jonah is only 48 verses, so one must allow for some creative license if you are going to write a complete novel.

   I chose the sperm whale, and here is why. The sperm whale is one of the very largest of the great whales. They dive deeper than any of the great whales, sometimes over a mile into the abyss of darkness to find their favorite meal. That meal is the giant squid, which just happens to sometimes grow to the height and weight of a man. Also, here is a little fun bit. At that depth, it's pitch black and the only light produced is by bioluminescent fish, such as Jellyfish, and other creepy, big-toothed predators. So if my sperm whale digests small glowing fish on his way to the bottom, do you suppose that one or two might be able to give off a small amount of light in the belly?

  To conclude let me suggest this. The debate is not what type of fish the Lord chose; the story is really about God's love for all.

Gratitude,

Anthony Barbera

The Hope

by Anthony Barbera 

 

clouds"The entire creation groans with anticipation, awaiting the fullness of that precise moment in time—God's next majestic event: The return of Christ Jesus for his church. He is coming!"__AJB

For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: (1Thes 4:16)

It is a disheartening sting to our souls when we lose one of our beloved brothers or sisters in Christ. Sadly, yet undeniably, all of the earth must face the consequences of sin. Death. Joy fully, having “fallen asleep,” the next living event that we will experience is that Christ has returned to gather us unto himself. We who are alive will hear the clarion shout of triumph, and the trumpet of salvation will sound the clear melody of victory: He is back, and we are departing this earth to be with him. We are not to sorrow as those who have no hope, for we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even more, those also which sleep (died) in Jesus will God bring with him. Be comforted.

Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, [die] but we shall all be changed, (1Cor 15:51)

God’s promises are Yes and Amen. Reliable and true. As much as you may wish, there are no men or women present in heaven today, save Jesus Christ. He was the first to be changed. Every other human being who has ever lived and died is presently “asleep,” in a state called gravedom, where there is no sense of time. That is what the Bible declares. It may make you feel better to think they are watching over us with great encouragement. Decidedly, if the dead are in heaven, why would Christ need to return to gather the living and the dead? Why would there be a resurrection of the just and the unjust? Every person who has ever lived is going to rise from the dead. That includes my beloved grandparents and our very missed friends and family. But they are not up there now, looking down upon you with great cheer. There is comfort in the truth of the scriptures.

THE ORDER IS CLEAR
The order is clear: The dead in Christ shall rise first. (Those who were born again after the day of Pentecost.) Then we, if we are alive at that time, shall follow them. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the dead ones will be raised incorruptible, and we mortals [which are alive at his return] shall put on immortality. All shall have a new body, like unto his resurrected body. Now that’s an uplifting truth. Be comforted. At that determined time in history, which only God knows, we will meet our savior face to face—and rejoice greatly together, for we have missed one another so dearly. The blessed hope of our salvation is coming to pass at that very moment in time. The exact moment which God has ordained before the foundations of the world.

We are to be reminded that this is not the resurrection. This first part of the “Gathering Together” (sometimes referred to as the rapture or departure) is never technically called a resurrection. Why? Because some believers will be alive at the time of this portion of his coming, and naturally, will not then need to be raised from the dead. Those who are alive will be caught up in the clouds, along with those believers who have just previously been raised from the dead, to meet the Lord in the air. With this first part, Christ coming for his Church, he will not descend onto the earth; He is coming to gather the dead and living of the Church of the Body first. See 1 Corinthians Chapter 15.

And to wait for his Son from Heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thes 1:10)

We are encouraged and reminded that through God’s manifold mercy and grace, that the Church of the Body of Christ, and all its members, will be departed and with Christ before the wrath spoken of in the Lord’s Day takes place.

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life. (John 5:24)

At that time, the church will already have been judged. We must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ. This judgment seat is the bema [βῆμα], the place, from which rewards and awards are given. None of God’s born again children will ever be judged as to how perfectly they walked in this life. Their glowing imperfections shall not be brought to light for all to see, and judgment passed upon them. The reason: We have been already judged in the person of our substitute and our mediator, Christ Jesus. He is our living savior and has delivered us from all wrath to come! It is a different and unique time we live in: The Age of Grace, The Church of the Body of Christ. We are of all men most blessed. The truth of our specific time in history, the grace administration awakens thankfulness! We don't work on his behalf to be saved or approved before Him, but because we already are.

But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. (1Cr 11:32 )

For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. (Jhn 3:17 )

For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, (1Th 5:9 )

Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? [It is] God that justifieth. Who [is] he that condemeth? [It is] Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. (Rom 8:33-34)

By God’s mercy and God’s grace, we will, however, be rewarded for what we have done on his behalf. To have praise of Him.

THE FIVE KNOWN CROWNS AVAILABLE AT THE BEMA:

Crown of Life - James 1:12: For those who endure temptation and love God.
Crown of Rejoicing – I Thessalonians 2:19, 20: For those who win others to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Crown Incorruptible - I Corinthians 9:24-25: For those who exercise self-control in all disciplined training.
Crown of Glory - I Peter 5:1-4: For those leaders or elders in the Body of Christ who become examples.
Crown of Righteousness - II Timothy 4:7,8: For those who love Christ's appearing.
The Events of the End

(1) Christ’s Coming For His Saints

(2) Church of the Body Stands at The “Judgment Seat” (Place of rewards, bema)

(3) The Events of the Book of Revelation with Christ’s Coming With His Saints

(4) The First and Second Resurrections

(4) The End (telos) When Death is Destroyed, and all Things Are Subdued to God.

(5) A New Heaven and a New Earth

THE LORDS DAY
In the Lord’s Day, the first “resurrection” will be for the just, then a period of time intervenes, next the “resurrection” of the unjust occurs. After all men and women who have ever lived have been “resurrected" (excluding the previously gathered members of the Church of the Body), then they, those of the first and second “resurrection,” will all appear before the judgment seat of God. The first and second resurrections will make “all alive, ” and all will be judged. Some will be allowed to suffer the second death. Finally, death will be destroyed. For he must reign until He has put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.

O death, where [is] thy sting? O grave, where [is] thy victory? (1Cr 15:55)

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. (Rev 21:4 KJV)

Look at the beauty and simplicity of how God reveals this in I Corinthians 15.

Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: And if Christ be not risen, then [is] our preaching vain, and your faith [is] also vain. Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: And if Christ be not raised, your faith [is] vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, [and] become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man [came] death, by man [came] also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then [cometh] the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy [that] shall be destroyed [is] death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under [him, it is] manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. (1 Cor 15:12-28)

HOPE ANTICIPATES
Hope anticipates and keeps us enthusiastically moving forward with Him. You cannot believe for The Hope to take place. In God's time—Christ is coming back as Lord of Lord and King of Kings! There will be a new heaven, and a new earth wherein dwells only righteousness. Christ is coming back. The new heaven and new earth will be inhabited only by those who love God. I'd much rather meet my Lord and Savior and my Heavenly Father as a born again son of God—among those who are thankful to be together.

"The entire creation groans with anticipation, awaiting the fullness of that precise moment in time—God's next majestic event: The return of Christ Jesus for his church. He is coming!" __Anthony Barbera

With much love For The Brethren,


Anthony Barbera

Writing the Historical Novelization of Jonah and the Whale

Take 260X150 d4d2d2Historical novelizations can require extended time to complete. In my case, "Jonah In the Time of the Kings" needed three years to research, edit, and finally complete. Both my wife and I traveled to remote locations to gain access to the most accurate information we could obtain: historical, geographical and Biblical, not to mention the military and cultural aspects required for the novel.

A great deal was discovered concerning the Assyrian culture and their mighty military within the British Museum. Biblical texts were available for examination, both there and in the library in Edinburgh, Scotland. Below are a few of the most often asked questions about Jonah, with a short synopsis.

 "What I really like about "Jonah In the Time of the Kings" is the parallels with our society today. It brings to life a Bible story that most Christians have read and know, perhaps from Sunday school or home fellowship, but so few of us realize its relevance to our modern-day United States or the world. This is not just about a prophet's disobedience to God, but the failure of God's people as a whole to give God the place He deserves and to fight for it..."    Youla Overby

   Of all the great men and women of the Bible, why did you choose Jonah as the subject of your historical novel Jonah In the Time of the Kings? After all, he lived almost 2700 years ago?I believe that Jonah is more like you and I than we dare to believe. Also, he was a man of incredible bravery, conflict, and character. Most of all, he had a unique and personal relationship with God, which is to be admired, and which I try to bring out in my novel. Here is a short Synopsis: The year is 762 BC. Jonah has committed himself to work on God’s behalf as a prophet of the Lord (in Northern Israel). Jonah is sent to the world’s most wicked and violent country, Assyria. The city that Jonah is asked to enter is Nineveh, the largest city in Assyria and over 500 miles away from his home in Gath-Hepher. Remember, the army of Nineveh is a systematized war machine, crushing every city in its path, enslaving every nation it conquers. Assyria lives by slavery and conquest. Israel is next in its path. Nineveh is a violent a wicked place—so horrendous that God is about to destroy it and remove it from the face of the earth.

   Jonah is personally asked by God to deliver His message to the people of Nineveh: “Your violence is in my face God says. If you don’t turn from your wickedness—I will destroy your great city of Nineveh and all of you within it.”   Jonah decides it’s not for him. He will travel as far away from the Lord as he can, to avoid preaching to the Ninevites, not out of fear, but out of love for his own country. Jonah gets on a ship and heads in the opposite direction from Nineveh. He has decided that if he preaches to the Ninevites and he is successful, God may change his mind and let them live. Jonah wants them all to be consumed because they are wicked beyond belief and they are a great threat to Israel. But Jonah has another problem, even greater: Israel is becoming wicked herself, and has turned away from Yahweh to worship the idols of the pagans. Jonah reasons that if the Ninevites are allowed to live by way of Jonah’s preaching, then they may very well overrun all of Israel and enslave all her people.

   Unimaginably, Jonah escapes Israel, running from God; books passage on a ship, most-likely to Spain. God's not amused, Yahweh sends a great storm, threatening the ship and all on board. Jonah is elected as the cause of this disaster and is hurled into the sea. Of course, as we know, a great fish swallows him whole. Jonah is swallowed by the whale and three days later vomited back into the surf of a beach. God tells Jonah to get moving to Nineveh; preach what I tell you too, He demands. Jonah agrees, travels the great distance and preaches what God has asked him to preach. The people of Nineveh repent, as Jonah thought they would, and God spares the city.

  • Many people don't believe that anyone could be swallowed by a whale and survive.

 "For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale, so will the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth. Matt 12:10"

  • How could an entire city, not to mention an entire nation turn to God from being one of the most violent in history? It seems impossible.

   It's miraculous and without a doubt happened. There was a recorded time within the Assyrian records (which they meticulously notated) that there was peace between Assyria and its neighboring nations. That time corresponds to the biblical record of Jonah. You may read Jonah-In the Time of the Kings to see further how that may have happened.

   The Book of Jonah is certainly an example of God’s love for all mankind. He thought he knew what the outcome should be better than God.

  • How was Israel similar to the United States today?

   Israel was divided, much, as the United States is today. Israel was divided in such a way that physically, the north was separate from the south: Israel in the north and Judah in the south. Even more dreadful, they were divided spiritually. Many of the Israelite s had turned from God in the north to the worship of idols, forsaking their God and their protector. When Israel stood with God, they were victorious and unstoppable. When they turned away from Jehovah and cleaved unto the worship of the idols of the pagans, after many warnings, the country was finally overrun, and the people enslaved; first in the north and then in the south.   What is chillingly real is that the Ninevites of that wicked Assyrian country were more willing to listen to Jonah than his countrymen in Israel were. Nineveh repented, and God withheld his threat upon them. Israel never turned again to God and was overrun and enslaved.  Also of note: Israel, at the time, was as prosperous as during the reigns of David and Solomon. Unfortunately, the governing abandoned the principals of a Godly rule. They became greedy, and their wealth became only a temporary illusion. The end of them and their way of life came swiftly.   How does the whale fit into this story, and do you think it is a mere fable, or that it assuredly happened?   The Bible, as well as the Talmud, never says that Jonah was swallowed by a whale, but by a great fish. Could it have been a whale?  Yes, it most likely was, however, it does not say that it was a whale.   People seem to assume that a man could not be swallowed by a whale and live for three days in the whale's belly. Nevertheless, if God says that Jonah was swallowed by a whale and was spit up on the beach, that pretty much settles it for me.

  • Another question which is debated with regularity is, did he die in the belly of the whale?  And did God raise him from the dead?  

There is no clear, definitive answer to that question. I have my opinion but have kept it to myself.

  • How does your novel, Jonah in the Time of the Kings differ from the Book of Jonah in the Bible?

For one, God had the Book of Jonah written by a Holy man of God as it states in 2 Peter 1:21. I wrote Jonah In the Time of the Kings to inspire anyone who read my book, to read “The Book of Jonah” in the Bible. After all, it is only 48 verses. I tried to stay accurate regarding what we do know, and yet, make it real as if it were happening today. I utilized many of the Biblical facts and truths and then asked God to inspire and help me with the rest, and then, I prayed. A lot.

  • Who are some of the other created or developed characters in your novel?  

Well, to begin with, there is a King and Queen of Nineveh who were alive in 762 BC. After Jonah left the county, historically there were some years of peace with its neighbors. Also, there is the prophet Amos, King Jeroboam; as well as Naomi, Jonah’s fiance, and her mother, Bashe.

To View the Video "The Jonah Chronicles" on YouTube where I discuss many of the choices made in the research and writing of Jonah, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUBneH0WezI   or, you may purchase Jonah In the Time of the Kings on Amazon as a paperback or eBook.

Thankfully,

Anthony Barbera

 

Understanding Biblical Greek Texts

Understanding Greek Texts 

By Ronald J. Gordon 

There are over 5,300 Greek manuscripts in various forms: papyrus, uncial, cursive - and no two are exactly the same. After the demise of the western half of the Roman Empire in the Fifth Century and the subsequent destruction of their Latin documents, the eastern half of the Empire and their Greek documents flourished for another thousand years. In fact, most of what we know of the ancient world is derived from Eastern manuscripts. In later centuries, with the threat of invasion to Eastern capitals, merchants and scholars moved to the Latin West, bringing along their Eastern Greek culture, and a profusion of documents (in some cases, the only surviving documents) of many Old World classics, including biblical manuscripts in the original Greek language of the New Testament. This produced a storm, a veritable explosion of interest in learning. With this new influx of culture into the West, in the space of little more than one century, history spawned these great events -- the Renaissance, the Bible in Greek, an explosion of learning, the printing press, the Reformation, an explosion in art (Michelangelo, Raphael), resurgence of astronomy (Copernicus), scientific experimentation (Galileo), world exploration, and the discovery of the American continent. Western Europe was punctually awakened from a thousand years of cultural slumber. It was a seminal moment for Christianity as well, for great men of intellect and theology such as Tyndale, Luther, and Beza were driven, as Wycliffe before them, to place Holy Writ in the hands of the common populace for them to read and appreciate for themselves. Jerome's Latin Vulgate was firmly entrenched in the West but it was notably different from the manuscripts of Byzantium. As interest in these new Eastern manuscripts greatly increased, men of learning - Textual Critics - attempted to reconstruct what they believed to be the original text of God.

Significant Advances In Textual Criticism

    A Textual Critic is a person who makes critical judgments while reviewing the texts of a family of similar manuscripts, in order to determine what the original scribe most probably had written. Naturally, the more dissimilar the set of manuscripts, the more disciplined must be the science of Criticism. Various methods are used to weigh the importance of the same reading in many different manuscripts. There must be a reliable way of understanding how a reading might change over the years, and thus account for the varied appearance of the same reading. Over the centuries, biblical manuscripts started appearing from many other sources as dedicated researchers combed the sands of Egypt or the shops of antiquities dealers, where Bedouins had already deposited the fruits of their labors. In 1621, Cyril Lucar the Patriarch of Alexandria was transferred to the Patriarchate of Constantinople, and along with the transfer came a codex manuscript that would be called Alexandrinus. It was the first of the great Uncials to become known to the scholarly world. He later sent it to England and it is now a cherished glory in the British Museum. Arthur Hunt and Bernard Grenfell began unearthing the city of Oxyrhynchus in 1896, and it soon yielded an unbelievable treasure of ancient papyri: government orders, personal letters, school exercises, bills of laden, tax receipts, random scribblings and even a possible list of undocumented sayings of Jesus Christ (OXY 654). Distinctive biblical fragments were also found here - P70 (OXY 2384) and P71 (OXY 2385). These discoveries are a treasury of everyday life, which has given researchers a more lucid understanding of early Egyptian language and customs. Once the third most important city in Egypt, Oxyrhynchus has been called the “Wastepaper City” because of its astonishing yield of documents.

    Biblical fragments also began showing up, here and in many other Egyptian archeological digs. New significant biblical finds were given a P number for identification purposes only since the order of their discovery can in no way chronologically infer their antiquity. John Rylands acquired P52 (possibly the earliest) after it was unearthed from an Egyptian tomb dating to about 115-120 AD. Presuming 20-30 years for such a copy to arrive in Egypt from the original place of writing (Ephesus?), it would also validate the traditional date of 95 AD for the writing of the fourth Gospel by Apostle John. Despite its rather small size, this portion of John (18:31-33 and 37-38) is currently thought to be the earliest known biblical documentation. Many fragments are small and contain little text but some are large and comprise many New Testament books. Mining engineer Alfred Chester Beatty acquired several fragments in 1930-31 - P45 (Gospels & Acts), P46 (Pauline Epistles & Hebrews), and P47 (much of Revelation). Swiss collector Martin Bodmer acquired numerous fragments and published them in 1955-56 - P66 (John), P72 (1-2 Peter & Jude), P74, and P75 (much of Luke & John). The combined Bodmer and Beatty manuscripts permit us to reconstruct nearly 90% of the New Testament from the 2nd to 3rd centuries. (Excluded will be Philemon, Titus, 1-2 Timothy, James, 1-2 Peter, and 1-2-3 John). 

    Following is a brief overview of the more remarkable developments in the field of Biblical Textual Criticism. A subsequent list of many other notable Critics will follow these short biographies, so that you may acquaint yourself with additional material that extends beyond the scope and purpose of this auxiliary treatment. 

Desiderius Erasmus 1466-1536

    The first published edition of a printed Greek Testament was issued in 1516 by this Dutch Humanist monk who took vows in 1492 and began studying theology in 1495 at the University of Paris.

Erasmus disliked university life and soon departed but his quest for classical learning and independent literary study only increased. His residence in England garnered a professorship of divinity at Cambridge University and friendships with leading British thinkers such as Thomas More, John Colet, and William Grocynthe. Erasmus traveled extensively in Europe and was offered numerous positions of honor in the academic world. He was a practicing Catholic all his life but a committed reformer at heart, rejecting the Latin Vulgate and questioning the efficacy of monasticism. Erasmus is disparagingly called a Humanist but Humanism in the 16th Century did not entail the varied colors of atheism that is usually attached in the modern age. After settling in Geneva, he found the necessary freedom to express his views more openly; and gained a reputation as one of the most prominent scholars of Europe, regularly corresponding with over five hundred of the most influential and powerful figures of his day. Although he forcefully strove to regenerate humanity through education and purify the doctrines and practices of the Church, he was never the target of any ecclesiastical body or official authority in the Roman Church.

 I would wish that all women — girls even — would read the Gospels and the letters of Paul. I wish that they were translated into all languages of all people. To make them understood is surely the first step. It may be that they might be ridiculed by many, but some would take them to heart. I long that the husbandman should sing portions of them to himself as he follows the plow, that the weaver should hum them to the tune of his shuttle, that the traveler should beguile with their stories the tedium of his journey.

    Learning was the driving force behind Erasmus, and one of his passions was to formalize the mammoth number of Byzantine Greek manuscripts into a single printed Greek Text, the first such attempt to produce a Critical work. His first edition (1516) was accomplished in about a years time but somewhat hastened because of a deadline set by the publisher. Most of its notable disappointments were corrected in a second edition (1519) and this one became the Greek Text used by translators Martin Luther (1522) and William Tyndale (1525). A frequent criticism of Erasmus is that he used only late manuscripts. In reality, he did have some access to early manuscripts but disregarded readings bearing any resemblance to the Latin Vulgate. The Codex Vaticanus was discovered by the Papal librarian Paulus Bombasius in the Vatican Library in 1521, and he thoughtfully sent readings to Erasmus for consideration. Several more editions were produced by Erasmus until his death and these became the foundation for Theodore Beza's nine editions and the basis of French printer Robert Etienne (Stephanus), who was the first to include a Critical Apparatus and subdivide chapters into verses. The Greek Text of Erasmus has often been called the Textus Receptus, a term which is actually derived from the second edition of Abraham and Bonaventure Elzevir's Greek Text of 1633: "textum ergo habes, nunc ab omnibus receptum..." (the text that you have is now received by all). Because of these many close textual relationships, some biblical students innocently conclude that Textus Receptus or Received Text, Erasmus, Beza, Stephanus, Byzantine Text, and King James Bible all mean the same thing. Demonstrative variances exist but interpretively, they all posture on the same side of the aisle. 

Johann Griesbach 1745-1812 

    The awareness of text-types is largely due to this German textual Critic who studied at Halle under Johann Semler and later became a professor of New Testament Studies at Jena in 1775. Griesbach is also responsible for using the term “synoptic” in his Commentarius Criticus of 1811. Although Johann Bengel appears to be the first to demonstrate an interest in text typing, remarking that “manuscripts need to be classified into companies, families, tribes, and nations” with further refinement on this notion by Semler, it was Griesbach who put this idea on the scholarly map. Griesbach was one of the first Critics to actually view and handle the Vatican Codex. He was permitted to inspect it, but only without the use of writing materials and then only while under immediate supervision. Griesbach would memorize vast amounts of Vaticanus and then record its contents from memory back at his quarters each evening. After many years of study, Griesbach reduced the numerous textual relationships to essentially three, which he termed: Byzantine comprising perhaps 90%, Western primarily coming from the Old Latin, and Alexandrian which was represented by only a few manuscripts. He published several Greek New Testaments in 1775-1777, 1796-1806, and 1803-1807. Although each one exhibited tenuous differences from that of Erasmus, Griesbach incorporated new readings from other editors and used the margins to note which ones he thought were the best - even if he did not include them in the body of his own text. One significant milestone was his use of the margin to cast warnings or approval concerning variant readings. This innovation was a precursor to the {A} {B} {C} {D} evaluations found in the United Bible Societies Greek New Testaments. Most future Critical editors would be corporeally influenced by the work of Johann Griesbach. 

Karl Lachmann 1793-1851 

    A professor of Classical and German Philology in Berlin who issued three Greek Texts (1831, 1842, 1850) that completely departed from the proliferating Textus Receptus. Lachmann attempted to publish his text by using a small number of early manuscripts and applying presumptive rules of examination that he had developed while studying Greek classical literature (he was especially intrigued with Homer's Iliad). His Critical efforts were influenced by two significant developments: the ascent of Rationalism that questioned the inspiration of the Bible, and the methodology of Altertumswissenschaft (Antiquity Science) which began to change how researchers viewed ancient documents. Unlike biblical manuscripts which were usually produced with some degree of reverent care for faithful preservation by the Church, Greek classic manuscripts had garnered numerous alterations by reckless scribes that resulted in regrettable to hopeless corruption. Lachmann and a few others (Wolf, Bekker) developed rules of comparison which they believed would yield the original text (autograph), and his crowning work using this method was a 1850 edition of the works of the Roman poet, Lucretius. This process required diligence and guesswork to unravel corrupted manuscripts, and Lachmann approached the New Testament with the same presumption, that its huge number of manuscripts were as corrupted as the Classics. He applied the same rules of critical examination to biblical manuscripts that he followed in editing Classical manuscripts. This involved establishing a series of presuppositions and systematic rules for hopefully arriving at the original text. Unfortunately, this effort did not prove to be a true Critical production because he did not largely follow his own methods of Textual Criticism. Lachmann committed a few grievous errors which resulted in his text not being widely accepted, further exacerbated by his routine practice of discarding one reading for another, which may only rest on a few manuscripts. His intellectual arrogance is largely ignored by modern revisors, who generally prefer to stress his determined effort to channel a new non-inspirational approach to Textual Criticism.

Brooke Westcott 1825–1901 / Fenton Hort 1828-1892

    Westcott was born in Birmingham, England and attended Trinity College in Cambridge. He finished graduate school in 1851 and began teaching at Harrow School.

Westcott was Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge from 1870 to 1890, and then Bishop of Durham until his death. He served in many prestigious ecclesiastical appointments including one of thirty-six chaplains to the King of England. Hort was born in Dublin, Ireland, and also attended Trinity College, beginning the same year that Westcott began graduate school. These two Cambridge professors developed a friendship which culminated in a mutual quest to revise the Greek Text of the New Testament. Hort seemed to always be the guiding voice in their mutual work and especially of the Revision Committee of 1881. Each man publically disdained the Received Text and also observed glaring differences between Lachmann and Tischendorf. Even Tischendorf's own texts varied considerably. In 1853, they set a course to assemble a Greek Text that would harmonize existing Texts and gain wide scholarly acceptance. The Upper House of the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury of the Church of England appointed a Revision Committee in 1870 to initiate the first true revision of the Authorized Version and both were appointed. Although Bishop Ellicott was chairman, he was no match for Fenton Hort in Textual Criticism and Hort gradually displaced the others in prominence, to become the main voice of the Revisionists. The Revised Version was issued in 1881 (New Testament) and 1884 (Old Testament). It was passionately literal, interpretatively rigid, hopelessly preferential, and just plain hard to read, which explains why its verses are rarely if ever, quoted in any literary work. It may have been financially disappointing but it was the first major translation to break with the Textus Receptus.

 Please see complete exposition at Comparing Translations: History of Westcott & Hort

John Burgon 1813-1888

    This son of a London merchant was born in Smyrna, an eastern province of Greece, and could speak Greek at an early age when most future Textual Critics

were struggling to learn their own native tongue. He wanted to be a minister and pursued studies at London University in 1829, and then enrolled at Oxford in 1841 where he became Gresham Professor of Divinity in 1867, and appointed Dean of Chichester in 1876. Burgon was a natural master of classical Greek, studying with ease the works of Thucydides, Aeschylus, Herodotus, and Aristotle (his favorite). He preached twice on Sundays and taught Bible Studies to the students at 7:00 AM. Burgon never issued a Greek Text but he was a firebrand of learned opinion in the area of Textual Criticism and Quotations of the Church Fathers. Although generally ignored by modern Critics because of his stress on Divine Preservation, some of his arguments have yet to be successfully answered. For example, he dismissed Fenton Hort's Recension Theory of the Byzantine Text from the Fourth Century as intellectual buffoonery, predicated entirely without evidence. Today, most reputable scholars also disown this once widely held view, not because there remains no evidence of such from Church Fathers or Church Councils, but largely because far too many distinctive Byzantine readings have now been identified in the Papyri - especially P46. The brilliant scholar Gunther Zuntz exhibits a steadfast preference for the “text of the papyri” and questions both the true origin of the Byzantine and the pure neutrality of the Alexandrian which he frequently regards as a mixture of different sources. He does not revere Burgon or show himself a friend to King James enthusiasts, but interestingly writes in The Text of the Epistles: “...a number of Byzantine readings, most of them genuine, which previously were discarded as late, are anticipated in P46 ... we are now warned not to discard the Byzantine evidence en bloc ... the extant Old Uncials and their allies cannot be relied upon to furnish us with a complete picture of the textual material which the Fourth and Fifth centuries inherited from earlier times ... P46 has given us proof of that."

    If Burgon was so skillful at Textual Criticism, why then is he so neglected or defamed by modern Critics? It may be for the very same reason that he also lacked ecclesiastical promotion during his life time - he rocked too many boats. Burgon wrote forcefully with a confidence that often came across to his contemporaries as intemperate defiance, and perhaps even elitist. If one is able to intellectually disassociate Burgon's personality from his writing, many of his arguments are quite reasonable. For example, modern scholars have now generally dispensed with Hort's 4th Century Recension Theory regarding Lucian of Antioch, not because early Church Councils and Church Fathers are silent to the matter, not because Lucian accepted the heresy of Arius, not because the entire Athanasian Church could hardly accept a recension written by an Arian heretic, rather because too many distinctive Byzantine readings have now been cataloged in the Papyri. No matter how one desires to frame the argument - Burgon was correct on this point. 

    The Revised Version of 1881 and its departure from the Received Text for that of Westcott & Hort was received with dismay by many and immediately challenged by Burgon, Cook, Beckett, Salmon, Malan, and perhaps the most eloquent Textual Critic of the day, Dr. Frederick H. A. Scrivener. Burgon's response was published as The Revision Revised in 1883. No stronger champion of the Textus Receptus can be found in church history and for that reason he is immediately beloved or disdained in accordance with one's textual predilection. F.F. Bruce writes in History of the Bible in English: “Some scholars did attempt to reply to Burgon -- competently, like Professor William Sanday of Oxford ... and less competently, like Bishop Ellicott, chairman of the Revisers, who was no match for Burgon in Textual Criticism ... The one scholar who could have answered Burgon conclusively -- Dr. Hort, chose to say nothing.” Of further note to Burgon's credit but locked in the British Museum is his most ambitious and unpublished work, a detailed catalog of more than 86,000 quotations of the early Church Fathers, the only project of its kind and a companion effort to his being the only Textual Critic to personally collate the Big Five Uncials.

Eberhard Nestle 1851-1913 / Erwin Nestle 1883-1972 

    All major Greek Texts would be nearly harmonized into one cohesive Critical Edition by an unassuming yet meticulous scholar from Württemberg, Germany. Nestle was a theologian, pastor, teacher, and Orientalist who studied at Tübingen (1869) and later pursued studies at Leipzig, Berlin, London, and Ulm. In the late Nineteenth Century, Textual Criticism was being tossed about in an oceanic storm, by the pounding waves of two schools of transmission: the Traditional-Preservation school of Dean John Burgon (Revision Revised) accompanied with the superior intellect of Frederick Scrivener (Plain Introduction to the Text of the New Testament), and the Alexandrian-Neutral school of Karl Lachmann, Constantin von Tischendorf, Brooke Westcott, and Fenton Hort. Lachmann was the first to break with the Byzantine Text and Tischendorf's discovery of the Codex Sinaiticus propelled Textual Criticism into an “oldest is always best” manuscript mode, which was in direct opposition to the Burgon-Scrivener plea for a preserved text against demonstrative corruption in the oldest manuscripts. 

    Nestle sided with Lachmann, Westcott, and Hort against Burgon, Scrivener, et.al. and further tried to harmonize the variant concerns of the Neutral School because Hort was enamored with Vaticanus and Tischendorf with Sinaiticus. The first Edition of 1898 was little more than a comparison of three sources: Westcott & Hort, Tischendorf, and Weymouth. A majority reading from each source became the Nestle Text. When they disagreed, an arbitrary decision became the accepted reading. Bernard Weiss was substituted for Weymouth in the third Edition and with few changes, this was the Nestle Text until the Twenty-Fifth Edition. For personal reasons, Nestle did not allow his name to appear on this first edition issued by the Württemberg Bible Society but succumbed to their persistence by the third Edition. In 1904, the British and Foreign Bible Society adopted Nestle’s text, which garnered international awareness and acceptance for the Nestle enterprise. Eberhard died in 1913 and his son, Erwin, made several changes beginning with the 13th Edition in 1927, especially the addition of a true Critical Apparatus. 

    Erwin Nestle is also accredited with making the Nestle Text a scholarly Text. Unlike previous Critics who produced several editions that never seemed to dominate the field or “cut through the noise,” Erwin worked devotedly towards producing not only a scholarly Greek Text but also a highly marketable Greek Text. This was accomplished in large part by expanding the Manuscript Apparatus to include a wider range of evidence, particularly over sincere promptings from the 1924 Magdeburg Conference. This permitted translators and scholars the opportunity to make better and more independent textual judgements by giving them a greater degree of information. He further made use of Vod Soden's identification sigla. Kurt Aland became associated with Nestle during the early 1950s and eventually became a joint-editor with his wife Barbara Aland. Thus, it is presently called the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece. Aland decided to incorporate his own textual labors toward the new Nestle 26th Edition which appeared in 1979. This would be the first Nestle Greek Text to have an independently established text. New manuscript finds were also reflected. Eight verses from Luke chapter 24 (3, 6, 9, 12, 36, 40, 51, 52) have been missing in modern translations because of the supposed validity of Westcott and Hort's “Non-Western Interpolation” theory (omissions or brevity in the otherwise paraphrastic Western Text might be indicative of an original reading). With the discovery of P75, a near relative of Vaticanus which included all eight verses by the original scribe, Nestle-Aland reinstituted them in 1979 and most translations have done likewise (compare RSV-1948 and NRSV-1986).

Kurt & Barbara Aland Criteria For Textual Criticism

  1. Only one reading can be original, however many variant readings there may be.
  2. Only the readings which best satisfies the requirements of both external and internal criteria can be original.
  3. Criticism of the text must always begin from the evidence of the manuscript tradition and only afterward turn to a consideration of internal criteria.
  4. Internal criteria (the context of the passage, its style, and vocabulary, the theological environment of the author, etc.) can never be the sole basis for a critical decision, especially when they stand in opposition to the external evidence.
  5. The primary authority for a critical textual decision lies with the Greek manuscript tradition, with the version and Fathers serving no more than a supplementary and corroborative function, particularly in passages where their underlying Greek text cannot be reconstructed with absolute certainty.
  6. Furthermore, manuscripts should be weighed, not counted, and the peculiar traits of each manuscript should be duly considered. However important the early papyri, or a particular uncial, or a minuscule may be, there is no single manuscript or group or manuscripts that can be followed mechanically, even though certain combinations of witnesses may deserve a greater degree of confidence than others. Rather, decisions in textual criticism must be worked out afresh, passage by passage (the local principle).
  7. The principle that the original reading may be found in any single manuscript or version when it stands alone or nearly alone is only a theoretical possibility. Any form of eclecticism which accepts this principle will hardly succeed in establishing the original text of the New Testament; it will only confirm the view of the text which it presupposes.
  8. The reconstruction of a stemma of readings for each variant (the genealogical principle) is an extremely important device because the reading which can most easily explain the derivation of the other forms is itself most likely the original.
  9. Variants must never be treated in isolation, but always considered in the context of the tradition. Otherwise, there is too great a danger of reconstructing a "test tube text" which never existed at any time or place.
  10. There is truth in the maxim: lectio difficilior lectio potior ("the more difficult reading is the more probable reading"). But this principle must not be taken too mechanically, with the most difficult reading (lectio difficilima) adopted as original simply because of its degree of difficulty.
  11. The venerable maxim lectio brevior lectio potior ("the shorter reading is the more probable reading") is certainly right in many instances. But here again, the principle cannot be applied mechanically.
  12. A constantly maintained familiarity with New Testament manuscripts themselves is the best training for textual criticism. In textual criticism, the pure theoretician has often done more harm than good.

Bruce Metzger 1914-

    North America entered the world of biblical Greek scholarship through a young student from Mennonite heritage in Pennsylvania. Born in Middletown just south of Harrisburg, Metzger first studied Greek and Latin at Lebanon Valley College and then made plans to study at Louisville under A.T. Robertson, one of the leading authorities of New Testament Greek. After learning of Robertson's death (1934), he decided to study Greek, Hebrew,

and Syriac at Princeton Theological Seminary, where a few weeks prior to his graduation in 1938, he was invited to begin teaching Greek at the Seminary. This began a forty-six-year career until he retired in 1984. His scholarly credentials are a litany of international associations and recognitions: the International Greek New Testament Project beginning in 1948 seated him as one of six members on their Executive Committee, Metzger eventually became the driving force of the United Bible Societies new series of Greek Texts (1966, 1968, 1975, 1993), the principal editor of the New Revised Standard Edition (NRSV 1989), elected to the advisory committee of the Institute for New Testament Textual Research at Münster, West Germany, in 1964, and numerous international speaking engagements such as addressing the University of Cambridge Faculty of Divinity and Fellows of Emmanuel College in 1981 for the Centenary Celebration of the 1881 publication of the Westcott-Hort Greek New Testament. One highlight of his speech noted that modern scholars have about sixty times the manuscript evidence as did the Revision Committee of 1881. Along with his translation efforts, Metzger wrote a companion work to the United Bible Societies Greek New Testaments, A Textual Commentary on The Greek New Testament (1975) wherein he explains and reasons, verse by verse, for the textual decisions of the Committee that totals over 2,000 variant readings. This went one step beyond Erwin Nestle's evidentiary efforts by actually explaining the Committees thinking during the process of selecting readings, thus allowing students to understand the “why” behind the UBS Greek Text.

Bruce Metzger Criteria for Textual Criticism

  1. EXTERNAL EVIDENCE, involving considerations bearing upon INTERNAL EVIDENCE, involving two kinds of probabilities:
    1. The date of the witness or, rather, of the type of text.
    2. The geographical distribution of the witnesses that agree in supporting a variant.
    3. The genealogical relationship of texts and families of witnesses: Witnesses are weighed rather than counted.
    1. Transcriptional Probabilities depend upon considerations of palaeographical details and the habits of scribes. Thus:
      1. In general, the more difficult reading is to be preferred.
      2. In general, the shorter reading is to be preferred.
      3. That reading is to be preferred which stands in verbal dissidence with the other.
    2. Intrinsic Probabilities depend upon considerations of what the author was more likely to have written, taking into account:
      1. The style and vocabulary of the author throughout the book,
      2. The immediate context,
      3. Harmony with the usage of the author elsewhere, and, in the Gospels,
      4. The Aramaic background of the teaching of Jesus,
      5. The priority of the Gospel according to Mark, and
      6. The influence of the Christian community upon the formulation and transmission of the passage in question.

Other Notable Critics

This exercise is principally concerned with major developments or turning points in the field of Textual Criticism, and not a biographical treatment of all who have pursued this discipline. Following are notable Critics who have also gained recognition in this field: Johann Bengel, Richard Bentley, Arthur Farstad, Casper Gregory, Fenton Hort, Herman Hoskier, F.G. Kenyon, Kirsopp Lake, John Mill, A.T. Robertson, Frederick Scrivener, Johann Semler, Hermann Freiher Von Soden, Constantin von Tischendorf, Samuel Tregelles, Bernhard Weiss, and Brooke Westcott.

United Bible Societies

A world fellowship comprised of separate national Bible societies from various countries, that are nondenominational organizations with the purpose of translating and distributing affordable Bibles in various languages. A German Bible Society was founded by Count Canstein in 1710 and others gradually followed: Nuremberg (1804), Berlin (1806), Finland (1812), Russian (1812), Saxony (1813), Netherlands (1813), Denmark (1814), Norway (1815), United States (1816), Malta (1817), and Paris (1818). One of the most influential has been the British and Foreign Bible Society which was founded in 1804. When the BFBS refused to take a firm position against Unitarianism, this conflict resulted in the formation of The Trinitarian Bible Society in 1831. These national societies worked feverishly to populate the world with Bibles in the language of indigenous people, but over the years they witnessed their efforts overlapping and even conflicting. Predictably, there grew a desire for more cooperation and mutual support. After World War I, the major players began seeking to form a united organization that would more efficiently coordinate their energies. That vision was delayed by World War II until 1946 when delegates from several countries met at Haywards Heath, England, to found the United Bible Societies (UBS) on May 9. Several remaining Societies were then invited to join and seventeen responded in the first year. As of May 2001, the UBS has become a world fellowship of 137 national Bible Societies working in over two hundred countries. 

    A new awakening in textual research occurred during the 1950s and the UBS garnered a string of important Critical works: Eberhard Nestle’s Greek New Testament (1898) revised by Kurt Aland (1979), Gerhard Kittel's Hebrew Old Testament (1937) revised by Karl Elliger and Wilhelm Rudolph (1977), Alfred Rahlfs's Septuagint (1935), and Robert Weber’s Vulgate (1969). A call was made for an international group of textual experts to utilize this information and produce a new edition of the Greek New Testament. Kurt Aland and the Institute for New Testament Research microfilmed over a thousand previously unknown or unexamined new manuscripts. Additionally, a reliable method of evaluating all this data was necessary, in order to catalog all variants and establish a reasonable presumption for the transmission of the New Testament. There are now four UBS Editions (1966, 1968, 1975, 1993), the original committee being Kurt Aland, Matthew Black, Bruce Metzger, Arthur Vööbus, Allen Wikgren with Carlo Martini joining for the second and third Editions, and the fourth Edition prepared by Kurt Aland, Barbara Aland, Johannes Karavidopoulos, Carlo Martini, and Bruce Metzger. Of special interest to many is the unique “italic” Greek font that was used in the UBS 3rd Edition because they consider it to be a more readable typeface. Reference material is richly incorporated, colorful topographical maps on the inside front and back covers, an obligatory Greek-English dictionary, the usual manuscript organizational charts, plus an expected bibliography. 

    Following is a graphical sampling of the UBS 3rd Edition body text, accompanied with a detailed explanation of each part of the Apparatus. The verse of John 13:18 was chosen for no other significance than to exhibit the Committee's vulnerability when faced with an uncertain reading, and to demonstrate the reasoning behind their decision. For comparison, see also this same page in Nestle-Aland 26th Edition.

GREEK NEW TESTAMENT, 3rd Edition 
United Bible Societies, Biblia-Druck GmbH (German Bible Society), Stuttgart, Germany 
In cooperation with the Institute for New Testament Textual Research, Münster/Westphalia, Germany 

John 13:18

Sorting of Evidence

    Papyrus, Uncial, Cursives, Byz = Byzantine, Lect = Lectionaries, Versions, and Church Fathers is the basic sorting order of evidence in the Apparatus. Superscript letters identify the hand of the contributor. An asterisk refers to the original scribe as P45* and successive Correctors as P45a, P45b, or P45cVid means apparent support when poor preservation makes complete verification impossible. Translated Versions from early centuries are abbreviated as goth (Gothic), it (italia or Old Latin ), eth (Ethiopic), cop (Coptic), or arm (Armenian), or vg (Vulgate) to name a few. Church Fathers sometimes quote a passage in different ways, so their name may appear with more than one reading.

Variant Reading

    A numerically ascending superscript identifies variant readings of a chapter that the Committee deemed worthy of documenting the evidence. In verse 18, the superscript number 4 indicates that this is the fourth such instance in this chapter, and one should then look to the Apparatus for this same number, followed by the verse number in bold type. This instance in verse 18 will serve as our example. Occasionally, brackets [ ] will surround a disputed word(s) that the Committee did not feel was significant to footnote the evidence. Brackets can also indicate a transpositional word(s). For example in verse 21, “HO” is disputed but not deemed worthy of explanation.

Evaluation of Evidence

    Griesbach was the first to add evaluations to his Apparatus and the UBS follows his example by inclosing a letter within braces immediately following the verse number.

{A} means that the text is very certain 
{B} indicates some degree of doubt 
{C} means considerable amount of doubt 
{D} signifies a very high degree of doubt

    If we look to the present example of verse 18 in the Apparatus, we see that the Committee has used a D which means that they are not really sure what the reading should be - a very honest admission.

Preferred Reading

    MOU (Of Me - bread of me, my bread) is the preferred reading of the UBS Committee in spite of the fact that the next alternate variant has much wider support. As explained in Comparing Translations: Herd Mentality, whenever Vaticanus and Sinaiticus disagree with each other, P66 will usually side with Sinaiticus and P75 will frequently stand with Vaticanus. Bruce Metzger explains in A Textual Commentary of The Greek New Testament the reason why the Committee chose MOU:

    “Although MET EMOU is much more widely attested than MOU, which is also the reading of the Septuagint, a majority of the Committee preferred the latter reading because MET EMOU may be an assimilation to Mark 14:18.”

    In other words, the Committee believes the original (eat my bread) was changed by a later scribe to (eat bread with me) in order to match the circumstance found in Mark 14:18 where the biblical writer emphatically stresses that the betrayer will actually be eating with or in the company of Jesus - a much more sinister or contemptible action. Matthew does not mention eating in 26:21 nor does Luke in 22:21 (although both hint at it). 

    This is one of many examples where Greek Critical Editors do not follow the majority of evidence because of a strong presumption or cautious intellectual guesswork - and sometimes herd mentality.

Break or Separation

    Two forward slashes are used to separate variant readings. In our example verse 18, there are three readings (MOU / MET EMOU / MOU MET EMOU), with each partitioned from one another by the Break symbol.

Alternate Reading

    MET EMOU (With Me - eat bread with me) is the more widely attested variant but is discounted because of the possibility that it may be a later alteration. Byz for Byzantine Text appears with this reading which usually also means the King James Version. Lect for Synaxarion Lectionaries frequently appears with Byz but not in this case. The versional evidence is strongly against the UBS preferred variant and may be the reason why the Committee evaluated this reading with a {D} - very high degree of doubt. Origen, Eusebius, and Cyril each quote this passage both ways, so evidence from Church Fathers remains inconclusive. 

    This reading also illustrates that editors may fear the possibility of a scribal alteration to a larger degree than the volume of evidence. If there exists the slightest possibility that a variant resulted from an editorial choice by a scribe, it is usually listed as an alternate - no matter how much evidence to the contrary. For example in Matthew 5:22, only three manuscripts P67, Sinaiticus, and Vaticanus support the UBS preferred variant when every other manuscript or Lectionary containing the verse stands against it.

Cross-Reference

    Located just below the Manuscript Apparatus and separated by a short horizontal line is a Cross-Reference which provides the researcher with: 1) quotations from biblical and non-biblical works, 2) allusions where it may be assumed that the writer had another scripture in mind, and 3) other literary parallels. In verse 14, John may have had Luke 22:27 and Matthew 20:28 in mind, a reference to Feet Washing can be found in 1 Timothy 5:10, and in verse 15, John refers to 'doing by example' which can also be found in Philippians 2:5 and 1 Peter 2:21.


Final Notes: 

    The body text of the UBS 3rd Edition has been harmonized to read with the Nestle-Aland 26th except for minor nuances of punctuation. Although it is much easier to study than most Greek Texts, the Apparatus seems geared more for the translator rather than the serious Critical researcher, because the manuscripts and sources cited are not exhaustive and the number of variant readings per instance is rarely more than three or four. Interpretatively, it is an eclectic version of Alexandrian witnesses leaning toward Westcott & Hort but not nearly as rigid as the latter, nor as slavishly preferential toward the Codices Vaticanus and Sinaiticus. One of the drawbacks to an eclectic (multiple source) texts is that it does not inherently possess a solid textual theory. A large difference between the UBS and Westcott & Hort is that the former has incorporated many more distinctive Byzantine readings since these supposedly late variants have been anticipated in the Papyri - especially P46 and P66. Now that the Nestle-Aland 27th Edition and the UBS 4th Edition are managed by the same parent organization, one may wonder what the purpose will be for each in the future. It seems probable that the small-sized N/A Text is destined to be the pocket reference while the larger UBS Text will serve for desktop reference.

“Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
rightly dividing the word of truth.” 

2 Timothy 2:15

Written by  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">  Ronald J. Gordon Published: April, 1997 ~ Last Updated: October 2002 © This document may be reproduced for non-profit or educational purposes only, with the provisions that this document remains intact and full acknowledgment be given to the author.


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Malcolm Muggeridge

Malcolm Muggeridge"One of the peculiar sins of the twentieth century which we've developed to a very high level is the sin of credulity. It has been said that when human beings stop believing in God they believe in nothing. The truth is much worse: they believe in anything."

Malcolm Muggeridge



Figures of Speech in the Bible. Why They Are Important To Understand.

E.W. BullingerAs E.W. Bullinger writes, within his masterful book entitled Figures of Speech Used In the Bible, A FIGURE OF SPEECH is a word or a sentence changed into a different form, changed from its original or simplest meaning or use. Said another way: Figures of speech are legitimate grammatical usages which depart from literal language to call attention to themselves. 

These forms (or figures) are constantly used by every speaker and writer.They are also used markedly, as it were, as the Holy Spirit's own markings of our Bibles. This is the most important point of all. For it is not by fleshly wisdom that the words which the Holy Ghost teacheth are to be understood. A figure is, as we have before said, a departure from the natural and fixed laws of Grammar or Syntax; but it is a departure not arising from ignorance or accident. Figures are not mere mistakes of Grammar; on the contrary, they are legitimate departures from the law, for a special purpose.

   We may say: "It's raining." That is a straightforward statement of fact. When we say, however, "It's raining cats and dogs", that is a figure of speech. It draws special attention to itself, begging for you to pay attention. There are thousands of Figures of Speech within the Bible. God uses them to encourage us to pay attention. For example: "... LORD your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched out arm..." God, obviously, does not have arms and a mighty hand; He is spirit. And yet, God uses human characteristics in the Scriptures to encourages us to take special notice. 

   We all use figures of speech on a daily basis. Some examples from modern syntax might be: 

  • She’s a cold fish.
  • The sky is threatening.
  • What a fox.
  • They're calling for rain.
  • He’s such an ass.
  • Man, she’s hot.
  • He's not the sharpest knife in the drawer.
  • Sweetheart.
  • Honey.
  • Hey, Dog.

As E.W. Bullinger writes: Whenever and wherever it is possible, the words of Scripture are to be understood literally, but when a statement appears to be contrary to our experience, or to known fact, or revealed truth; or seems to be at variance with the general teaching of the Scriptures, then we may reasonably expect that some figure is employed. And as it is employed only to call our attention to some specially designed emphasis, we are at once bound to diligently examine the figure for the purpose of discovering and learning the truth that is thus emphasized. One of my favorite and most helpful library books is  Bullinger, E. W. Figures of Speech Used In The Bible. I have quoted freely from the introduction in this article.

 Anthony Barbera

Life Changing

AugusttheCliffThe phrase "life-changing" is certainly bantered about with an abandon of late. Particularly in reference to movies, books, and now - even in the applauding of teachings or sharings.

Take just a moment to step back in time. Say to the time of the knights of Old England. Imagine that you have been commissioned to be the king’s ambassador, representing his majestic reign to the entire world. Adding a brilliant sheen to this exuberant plot you are also the son of the king, which gives you, even more, prestige among the citizens of the kingdom. Adding even more, thrills — your elder brother is the prince and has traveled extensively before you, bringing peace, comfort, and life enriching hope to the people of the land. The people have been without hope for generations, and now, the king and his son the prince, as well as yourself, offer a new chance for life.

 By way of this simple illustration, we see that what is meant to be "life-changing"…is you! You, as son and ambassador, bring the life changes to the people of the kingdom. Everywhere you step life can be victorious, and it can change, because you are there. You represent the king and his power. You represent the creator of all creation. With your travels deliverance and truth. With your travels not judgment and condemnation, but love and hope for a better life.

   Whether at work or at play, surrounded by darkness or light, we represent the life-changing Father of Light. Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.  (2 Tim 4:2)

In Love,
Anthony

Oswald Chambers "Called of God"`

Oswald Chambers"Faith is deliberate confidence in the character of God whose ways you may not understand at the time."

 At times I am inspired and excited to share the things that God is revealing to me in his Word or by prayer. Other times it is simply a joy to read what other men in other times have written.  How they grew in faith with God. This is one small excerpt from the book  

My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers. My son Blake reminded me of this writer some time ago, and there, upon my bookshelf, I found the book sitting and awaiting me.

 "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Then said I, Here am I; send me!" Isaiah 6:8

   God did not address the call to Isaiah; Isaiah overheard God saying, "Who will go for us?" The call of God is not for the special few, it is for everyone. Whether or not I hear God's call depends upon the state of my ears, and what I hear depends upon my disposition. "Many are called but few are chosen," that is, few prove themselves the chosen ones. The chosen ones are those who have come into a relationship with God through Jesus Christ whereby their disposition has been altered and their ears unstopped, and they hear the still small voice questioning all the time, "Who will go
for us?" It is not a question of God singling out a man and saying, "Now, you go." God did not lay a strong compulsion on Isaiah; Isaiah was in the presence of God and he overheard the call and realized that there was nothing else for him but to say, in conscious freedom, "Here am I, send me."

   Get out of your mind the idea of expecting God to come with compulsions and pleadings. When our Lord called His disciples there was no irresistible compulsion from outside.The quiet passionate insistence of His "Follow Me" was spoken to men with every power wide awake. If we let the Spirit of God bring us face to face with God, we too shall hear something akin to what Isaiah heard, the still small voice of God; and in perfect freedom will say,"Here am I; send me. Oswald Chambers. To Read More of Oswald Chambers See: My Utmost for His Highest.

The Many Roads To God

A weary traveler was afoot, trudging through the sticky sands of the Mohave Desert on his journey to Barstow, California—the heat blistering this time of day. Head down he labored forward.

After a time, miraculously, an old Indian on a burro appeared before him, stopped and asked: "Why are you traveling on this dusty road in the heat of the day?" The beaten traveler looked up and replied, "I'm searching for the one road to Barstow." The old Indian grinned, chuckled, and twisting on his burro replied, "Look ahead—you can see that there are many roads to Barstow—they all lead there."    The traveler squinted and looked out upon the barren landscape. Numerous sandy blanketed roads were now before him. He noticed that all the roads led in the same general direction, but that they fanned-out in a half-circle, like a freshly cut pie. The traveler peered back up at the Indian on the burrow and paused, "Have you ever been to Barstow?" The Old Indian chuckled, "Well, no, still I've been traveling these paths for years—just haven't found it yet." He winked, struck his burro a light slap with a stick, and trotted off, down yet a different trail than the one he'd emerged from.

Are There Many Ways To God?

Undeniably, there is a worldly concept that permeates mankind's consciousness. It's this: That there are many ways to God, many roads of access to him. Holding hands with that idea is the concept that we are all the children of God. Now the Bible is clear: all people are God's creation (Colossians 1:16), and that God loves the entire world. Still, are there a multitude of ways to God's heart? Are we all now, in fact, the children of God? Here are but a few thoughts from some of the worlds noted religious men.

"...Soul is a conscious entity, a drop of the Ocean of All consciousness, and in its miniature capacity carries all the divine attributes of Godhood. Since it is environed by mind and matter, it has lost its heritage and forgotten its origin, the True Home of the Father. The Masters come to our help, to awaken us from this long slumber of ignorance. All the past Masters including Christ have been stressing the importance of this inner development of soul."
__Kirpal Singh

"When you meet someone better than yourself, turn your thoughts to becoming his equal. When you meet someone not as good as you are, look within and examine yourself."

___Confucious

 "We are all part of the One Spirit. When you experience the true meaning of religion, which is to know God, you will realize that He is your Self, and that He exists equally and impartially in all beings."

__Paramahansa Yogananda 1893-1952

Brahma, Vishnu & Shiva
"In Hindu cosmology, the powers, or energies of the One are divided into three primary expressions: Brahma, the creative power; Vishnu, the energy of preservation; and Shiva, the force of change. Creation arises, is sustained for awhile, and then things change. That's the dance."

"He who experiences the unity of life sees his own Self in all beings, and all beings in his own Self, and looks on everything with an impartial eye."
__Buddha

"Whoever desires the world and its riches, in a lawful manner, in order to withhold himself from begging, and for a livelihood for his family, and for being kind to his neighbor, will come to God with his face bright as the full moon on the fourteenth night of the lunar month."
__ Prophet Muhammad

TAKE GOD AT HIS WORD

The men above proclaimed some great truths to mankind. And yet, not one of them declared himself to be the son of God. God proclaims in his Word, the Bible, that there is one, and only one way to access him. That is by way of his son Jesus Christ. We'll take God at his word.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16 KJV)

Christ declared that he would raise us up!

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (John 14:6 KJV)

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. (John 14:12)

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; (1 Timothy 2:5)

Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, [even] by him doth this man stand here before you whole. This is the stone which was set at nought of you builders, which is become the head of the corner. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved. (Act 4:10-12 KJV)

           WHO ARE THE CHILDREN OF GOD?

Answer: The Bible is clear that all people are God's creation (Colossians 1:16), and that God loves the entire world. (John 3:16), but only those who are born again are the children of God. There is nothing that you have done that can separate you from the love of God, but you. It is best said in the scriptures. Take God at his word!

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: (Jhn 1:12 KJV)

Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. (1Jo 3:1-3 KJV)

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:40 KJV)

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. (Romans 8:15-17 KJV)

             JESUS CHRIST IS A COMPLETE SAVIOR, SAVING TO THE UTMOST! 

So are there many roads to God? Buddha never claimed to be the son of God, nor did Mohammed. Of course, you will make up your own mind, one way or another. God gave us free will to choose. Regardless of the past, the wonderfulness of it, or, the wretchedness of it. Regardless of how you were raised, nurtured, or abandoned and hurt—God has always loved you. He's cried out for you and gave his most precious possession—his son. 

Your past should not determine your future! God will never let you down. He took the first step to secure your life, now, regardless of how much false religion was shoved down your throat; regardless of the lack of faith in your upbringing— in his kingdom is love evermore. Reach out to him. He will never leave you nor forsake you. It doesn't mean men won't have some ill effect on your life going forward. It does mean that you will have eternal life, be raised from the dead or gathered upon Christ's returns. God's promises are true. Take Him at his word. There is only one road to God, and he built that road through his son Jesus Christ. It's the best road for your journey. It's your choice. A blessed eternity is a long time. What do you have to loose?

Agape,

Anthony Barbera