The Apple Of God's Eye

February 1, 2011

Where Did John The Baptist Get The Ceremony Of Baptism?

Filed under: Baptism,Biblical Characters — melchia @ 10:11 pm
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paramedicgoldengirl.blogspot.com

One of the greatest miracles of the Old Testament was a forerunner and type of what true baptism pictures today. It was the Exodus of Israel out of Egypt.

In I Corinthians 10:11, God reveals that these Old Testament events occurred to be examples to Christians. Now read verses 1-2: “Moreover, brethren, I do not want you to be unaware that all our fathers were under the cloud, all passed through the sea, and were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.”

The word here translated “baptized” means “immersed” or “plunged into.” Let’s understand the full meaning of this event.

Israel had just come out of captivity in Egypt. God said that He was going to bring them up out of that land of oppression — that pagan land of strange customs and evil ways. So God sent Moses to deliver them from their bondage in that land of sin.

Israel was in sin, living the wrong way. And God set His hand to deliver them.

After Israel’s Exodus from Egypt, God brought them to encamp “beside Pi Hahiroth, before Baal Zephon” (Exodus 14:9). To Israel’s amazement, they found themselves trapped, with the Egyptians closing in on them. The only way of escape was through the Red Sea.

When Israel saw Pharaoh’s army pursuing them, they became filled with fear (verse 10). But Moses assured them, saying: ” ‘Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord….’ Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the Lord caused the sea to go back… and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea” (Exodus 14:13, 21-22). This type of “immersion” was a veritable grave, and Pharaoh and his men all perished in it. For Pharaoh was still in sin and therefore was doomed (Romans 6:23).

Israel went through the Red Sea, picturing the death of that former way of life — then, coming up out of that grave by God’s grace, they were to enter a new way of life, a promised land.

And so in the New Testament God also requires Christians to crucify the old man, the former way, and to come up out of a watery grave and into a better way of life (Colossians 2:12).

Israel’s baptism was only a type. That baptism was under the Old Covenant, a physical agreement with physical ordinances and material rewards. But notice what God says about the New Covenant: “This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them” (Hebrews 10:16).

But what about John? Where did he get his authority? How did he know and understand the principle of baptism?

Answer: John had been taught those examples from childhood, for his parents were righteous before God (Luke 1:6). God, through the power of His Spirit, revealed to John the principle of baptism — that a people had to be prepared to hear the message of the soon-coming Messiah.

Repentant sinners needed to prove their repentance by an outward sign, as Israel did under Moses. That’s why John saw in Scripture that the original crossing of the Red Sea by a whole nation was a type of what each individual ought to do — be immersed, or baptized, in water.

Source: The Good News, May 1985

 

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Why Did God Kill In The Old Testament?

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God said: “All who behave unrighteously, are an abomination to the Lord your God. Remember what Amalek did to you [Israel] on the way as you were coming out of Egypt, how he met you on the way and attacked your rear ranks, all the stragglers at your rear, when you were tired and weary; and he did not fear God” (Deuteronomy 25:16-18).

Notice how harsh and unfair the Amalekites were. They waited until their enemy was extremely weak, and even then, they attacked from behind, killing the laggers one by one.

But why did God slay all of the Amalekites? Surely some must have been righteous. If so, why didn’t God spare them?

Let’s take another example, that of Sodom and Gomorrah. In Genesis 18:23-32, Abraham asked God if He would spare those sinful cities if as few as 10 righteous people could be found in them. God said yes.

The same principle applies to the Amalekites. God may have spared the Amalekites if there had been even 10 among them who were righteous. But there wasn’t one innocent person among them!

But understand God’s plan. Are these people lost forever? No!

They will be resurrected to mortal flesh and given a chance to live under God’s government (Revelation 20:12). If they then repent and obey God, they will be given eternal life as members of His Family. God put these people out of their misery, realizing that He would later resurrect them and give them their first real chance for salvation.

How merciful is God (Psalm 103:1-18)!

Source: The Good News, May 1985

Where Did Cain Get His Wife?

Filed under: Biblical Characters — melchia @ 7:50 am

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Notice Genesis 5:4: “After he begot Seth, the days of Adam were eight hundred years; and he begot sons and daughters.” Obviously Cain married one of his sisters — one of Adam’s daughters — and Seth, Cain’s brother, did likewise.

Adam and Eve, as God proposed, were fruitful (Genesis 1:28). In today’s world, when many couples are having no more than one or two children, it’s hard for us to grasp how many children Adam and Eve probably had during their great span of life, nearly a thousand years. Adam lived almost one sixth of all the time from his creation until now.

It was not wrong to marry a sister or a brother in the beginning — no physical harm would result. More than 2,000 years later, in the days of Abraham, a man could still marry a half sister. It was not until the days of Moses that God forbade brothers to marry their half sisters (Leviticus 18:6, 11).

In pre-Flood days, when people lived for centuries, they did not age as we do today. They were able to continue bearing children, undoubtedly, for hundreds of years. After the Flood, because of living contrary to God’s laws, the human life span became greatly shortened.

Source: The Good News, August 1985

Does Ephesians 2:6 Indicate That Christians Go To Heaven?

Filed under: Heaven(s) — melchia @ 7:44 am
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Let’s understand exactly what this verse means.

Ephesians 2:6 in the Authorized Version of the Bible says God “hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus.”

This verse is speaking of Christians now. Certainly we are not in heaven right now. Yet the verse says we are now sitting together in “heavenly places,” whatever those are.

The word heavenly in this verse is translated from the Greek word epouranios, which refers to something high or lofty. It does not have to refer specifically to heaven.

Notice also that the word places is in italics. That means the word was not in the original Greek text, but was later added by translators. The verse literally says that we have been made, now, to “sit together in heavenly [or heavenlies] in Christ Jesus.”

Ephesians 2:6 is saying that with God’s Spirit leading us, we look at things from God’s point of view, setting our minds “on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). We become “ambassadors for Christ” (II Corinthians 5:20), called out of this world as “a royal priesthood… His own special people” (I Peter 2:9), to teach and set the example of God’s perfect way of life, which is so different from the way this world lives.

We are, even now, in a relationship of high and lofty terms and conditions — we have indeed had the “heavenlies” opened to us!

Ephesians 2:7 refers to what will happen in the future — “in the ages to come.” When God’s Kingdom is set up, we shall reign as kings and priests with Christ on earth (Revelation 5:10). Christ promises that we shall actually sit with Him on His throne on earth at that time (Revelation 3:21).

Ephesians 2:6 in no way contradicts John 3:13 and dozens of other scriptures that prove conclusively that Christians do not go to heaven.

Source: The Good News, August 1985

Catholic Church: Arrogant, Corrupt, Secretive And Evil

Filed under: Catholic Church — melchia @ 7:31 am
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Editors Comment: Pope Benedict was drawn directly into the massive sex scandal involving his church after it was claimed that a paedophile cleric was able to continue offending after the pontiff, then Archbishop of Munich, decided to send him for therapy, rather than report him to police. According to the Times Online, not long after this priest was accused of the sexual abuse of  three boys in 1979, he was offered a new home in Munich by Joseph Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI. Ratzinger wanted Father Peter Hullermann to undergo psychotherapy. A psychiatrist concluded that Hullermann was untreatable, however.

So what happened? Believe it or not, Huth’s warning was ignored and this deviant priest was allowed to return to pastoral work in a local state school where he again abused boys. Of course he was again convicted of the sexual abuse of minors. But even that was not the end of his time in the church. He continued working with altar boys, and he was still working as a priest right up to 2010, when he was suspended from a Bavarian tourist resort for breaching a church order in 2008 to avoid any involvement with children.

Priests in Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico and in the Pope’s former diocese in Germany have been accused of mistreating children. In the Netherlands, a spokesman for the Dutch church said that more than 1,100 allegations of paedophilia committed by clergy since 1950 have emerged this month. The Swiss Catholic Church is examining at least nine “serious” cases of suspected sexual abuse or harassment during the past six years. They are among 60 reported cases of sexual impropriety by Swiss priests or lay Catholics over the past 15 years.

The Rev Thomas Reese, a senior fellow at Georgetown University and the author of Inside the Vatican warned that the sex abuse scandal will only worsen, with thousands more cases likely to emerge across Europe. Similar claims have come from Canada and America (The Telegraph).

This unholy saga raises serious questions about the Catholic Church, which seems more intent on the protection of  the entity as a whole, rather than on the welfare of those it serves. Read the shocking article below to find out more on this subject.

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Arrogant, corrupt, secretive – the Catholic church failed to tackle evil

The Guardian, March 21, 2010

telegraph.co.uk

The cover-up of child sexual abuse by the Catholic church is not about sex and it is not about Catholicism. It is not, as Pope Benedict rightly argued in yesterday’s distressingly bland pastoral letter, about priestly celibacy. It is about power.

The urge to prey on children is not confined to the supposedly celibate clergy and exists in all walks of life. We know that it can become systemic in state and voluntary, as well as in religious, institutions. We know that all kinds of organisations – from banks to political movements – can generate a culture of perverted loyalty in which otherwise decent people will collude in crimes “for the greater good”.

In none of these respects is the Catholic church unique. What makes it different – and what gives this crisis its depth – is the church’s power. It had the authority, indeed the majesty, to compel victims and their families to collude in their own abuse and to keep hideous crimes secret for decades. It is that system of authority that is at the heart of the corruption. And that is why Benedict’s pastoral letter, for all its expressions of “shame and remorse”, is unable to deal with the central issue. The only adequate response to the crisis is a fundamental questioning of the closed, hierarchical power system of which the pope himself is the apex and the embodiment. It was never remotely likely that Benedict would be able to understand those questions, let alone answer them.

It is this contradiction that explains why the church has been trying, and failing, to put the abuse crisis behind it for well over a decade now. There is something symbolically apt, for example, about the way the grotesque figure of the dead paedophile, Father Brendan Smyth, has returned to threaten the position of the head of the Irish church, Cardinal Sean Brady.

Smyth emerged as a public figure in 1994, when he was convicted in Belfast after almost half a century of child abuse. He almost destroyed the reputation of Brady’s predecessor, Cahal Daly. He even contributed to the fall of Albert Reynolds’s government in 1994. It makes a kind of grim sense that his horrific career, and the failure of the church to take any real steps to stop him, has re-emerged to haunt another cardinal. (more…)

Pope Benedict Guilty Of Hiding Sex Abuse Crimes

What does it take to have a priest excommunicated for sins? What do reasonable people need to conclude about the worldwide organization of the Catholic Church before refusing to send them any more money, or walking away? How horrible must be the transgression before people realize that the Pope of this church has absolute power and authority, and that he knows exactly what goes on. Few realize that the Catholic church has some of the best intelligence operations in the world. For the pope not to realize what is going on within his own church is simply not believable.

While then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was involved in a 1980 decision to transfer Hullermann to Munich for therapy, Ratzinger’s then-deputy took responsibility for a subsequent decision to let the priest return to pastoral duties. Hullermann was convicted of sexual abuse in 1986. However, the New York Times reported that Ratzinger was copied in on a memo stating Hullermann would be returned to pastoral work within days of beginning psychiatric treatment. (Source)

“In another case, documents show the Vatican office responsible for disciplining priests, while headed by Ratzinger, halted a church trial of a Milwaukee priest accused of molesting some 200 deaf boys from 1950-1975. Of the 3,000 cases the Vatican has received since 2001, only 20 percent have gone to a full canonical trial, the Vatican’s chief prosecutor Monsignor Charles Scicluna said. Disciplinary sanctions were imposed in 60 percent, such as priests being ordered to live a retired life of prayer and not celebrate Mass publicly; in only 10 percent were the accused priests defrocked. (more…)

Forgotten Sinai Inscriptions Prove Exodus Was Real

Filed under: Israel - House Of — melchia @ 7:21 am

The Passover — according to the Bible — began with the Exodus, but critics deny the Exodus ever occurred. Here is astounding proof, lost for centuries, verifying the Bible record!

There is astounding contemporary evidence of the Exodus and of the first Passover — evidence carved in the rocks of the Sinai Peninsula. The names of Moses, Miriam, Marah (the site of Israel’s demand for water), the name “Hebrew,” the shortened form of the name of God — “Jah” (Psalm 68:4), and many accounts of the rebellion, the idolatry, the miraculous feeding of the people — all can be found carved on the near-inaccessible rocks of Sinai!  They occur along the very route of the Exodus. And together with the inscriptions are thousands of graves along the same route!

What Critics Believe

Agnostics and higher critics and not a few modernist ministers all unite their voices today in one chorus to declare the record of the Exodus preposterous. Their influence is permeating the nation’s grade and high schools, and especially the colleges! How could 600,000 men, besides women and children have lived in the land of Goshen, they ask?

And why, ask the agnostics further, does the Bible say the Pharaoh perished in the Red Sea, when the Egyptian records plainly state that the Pharaoh, under whom the critics assume the Exodus occurred, did not die in the Red Sea? Easy, it is evident that critics have the wrong Pharaoh.

Further, they would have us believe that the voice of the God who spoke at Sinai to 2½ million people was merely a local thunder storm which Moses — if he ever existed — cleverly attributed to the local god of thunder. That thunder-god of Mt. Sinai, the higher critics blatantly assume, was the origin of the Jewish concept of one God!

But the evidence of the very rocks of Sinai itself disproves these idle dreams of the would-be scholars and pretended ministers of Christ. Yes, the Bible is true after all! And here is the evidence. (more…)

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