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Issue No: 569     Published: 10 Sep 2012

THINKING GREEK OR HEBREW? continues

We are looking at the differences between the Jewish (Eastern) and Greek (Western) ways of thinking, so that we can better understand the ways and teachings of Jesus. (See the last 33 weeks issues of PGIM!)

This is a particularly difficult subject to deal with, especially in a short article such as this. I am not going to theologically explain why differences exist, but simply point out the differences between our Western and the Hebrew views of the source of sin.

THE SOURCE OF SIN

Greek (Western)
In Western thought we believe in a persona called satan (usually capitalized which I have always refused to do) who rules the demons (often regarded as fallen angels) who largely cause us to sin.

This concept of 2 opposing empires of good and evil first arose in Persia but also fits comfortably into the Greek concept of good and evil gods, or gods with good and bad sides to their nature.

The end result of this is that we blame a lot of our sin upon the devil. In other words, we conveniently disclaim responsibility for our actions, saying our actions are of the devil, and so excusing sin in our life.

Our translation of Scripture reflects this understanding. As we have mentioned, the word 'satan' is capitalized and the persona treated as a spiritual being in charge of the horde of demons(perhaps fallen angels) who disrupt our lives. Yet the Hebrew understanding of the word 'satan' is an opposing force to the Words of YHVH with all of the following meanings: divide, set at odds with, accuse, slander, reject, deceive, oppose, be adversarial. (hethathasanear.com/Warfare-2.html) Not once in the original Hebrew language is satan identified as having a persona or form, spiritual or physical.

Eastern (Hebrew) In Hebrew thought, evil comes from within the individual. It is regarded as personal opposition to the Words of God (at heart, 'selflessness') through human 'selfishness'.)

The force of evil is found in our human self-determination which is in opposition to the godly foundation of self-denial.

This is beautifully expressed in a practical way by Jesus.....

23 Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. (John 14:23-4)

And again.....

23 Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. (Luke 9:23)

James put it this way.....

16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. (James 3:16)

Paul explained the same principle as.....

4 Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. (Philippians 2:4)

When I was a boy (some time ago now!) we used to pray the Lord's Prayer in church every Sunday. At that time it was recited out of the King James Version.....

13And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: (Matthew 6:13a)

In this instance, the literal translation (of much of) the King James expresses the Hebrew view of evil as a force, rather than as a person, as most later translations record it. eg. NIV - deliver us from the evil one

Paul, when explaining his ongoing tendency to sin, does not blame his sin on a person of satan or demons, but on the old selfish nature still lurking within him - but of course, which he was gradually overcoming with the help of the Holy Spirit.

14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. 21 So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin. (Romans 7:14-25)

SOME SPIRITUAL IMPLICATIONS FOR TODAY

I fully understand that the Hebrew view contradicts virtually all our understanding and teaching!

I just ask that we both don't reject out of hand what has been said here but absorb the vital spiritual principle it contains.

The key element is not the theological argument but the necessity for us to take responsibility for our own lives and the sin in our lives. God is 'selfless'. We are by nature 'selfish'. Replacing our 'selfishness' with God's 'selflessness' is what walking with Jesus is all about. Are we prepared to make the 'self-sacrifice' required?

(To be continued next week.)

Acknowledgements: http://www.followtherabbi.com and http://hethathasanear.com and http://www.wildbranch.org

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FROM THE WORD

Jesus Promises the Holy Spirit

"“If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me. “All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:15-27)

Peter’s Confession of Christ

"Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone. And he said, “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.” Then he said to them all: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of him when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels. I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the kingdom of God.” (Luke 9:18-27)


Imitating Christ’s Humility

"If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." (Philippians 2:1-14)

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DAVID'S DOODLINGS

DARKNESS AND LIGHT

408. The only way to turn off darkness is to switch on the light.

409. The laws of both Nature and the Spirit reveal that light will always penetrate darkness.

410. Most people try to switch off darkness when in reality, they need to turn on the light.

411. There is nowhere so dark that it cannot be penetrated by light.

412. So often we don't appreciate the true value of light until we find ourselves in darkness.

413. Light doesn't shine brightly through a dirty window.

414. We must pull back the curtains to let light shine into the room of our life.

415. Light and darkness cannot co-exist. The one will always mingle with the other.

416. There must always be a barrier to separate light and darkness.

417. There are only two ways to turn light into darkness - building walls to exclude the light, or turning the light off at its source. The second is by far the easiest.

1276. For the darker the darkness, the brighter the light will be seen that shines within it.

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TUESDAY TEACHINGS

THIS WEEK: WALKING IN THE WAY: OUR JOURNEY THROUGH LIFE

Living our life today while preparing for His return.

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LAUGHING AT OURSELVES

***Blessed are those who can laugh at themselves for they shall never cease to be amused*** ***

"Those who can't laugh at themselves leave the job to others." ***

540. MY MOTHER
A little boy forgot his lines in a Sunday School presentation.

His mother, sitting in the front row to prompt him, gestured and formed the words silently with her lips, but it didn't help. Her son's memory was blank.

Finally she leaned forward and whispered the cue, "I am the light of the world."

The child beamed and with great feeling and a loud, clear voice said, "My mother is the light of the world."

539. THIS MODERN WORLD
One Easter Sunday morning as the minister was preaching the children's sermon, he reached into his bag of props and pulled out an egg. He pointed at the egg and asked the children, "What's in here?"

I know!" a little boy exclaimed. "Pantyhose!"

538. PALM SUNDAY
It was Palm Sunday and, because of a sore throat, 5-year-old Johnny stayed home from church with a sitter. When the family returned home, they were carrying several palm branches. The boy asked what they were for.

People held them over Jesus' head as he walked by."

"Wouldn't you know it," the boy fumed. "The one Sunday I don't go, He shows up!"

" FREE DOWNLOAD: You can now download the book 'Laughing At Ourselves' in PDF format at LAUGHING AT OURSELVES One of the most comprehensive sources of Christian Humour on the Net with 800 sermon fillers for your entertainment and use at ...

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FACTS FOR FUN

LAST WEEKS QUESTION: The strongest muscle in our body is found in our leg, arm, hand or head?

ANSWER: In the Head! Yes, the strongest, and also most troublesome, muscle in the body is the tongue! (James 3:1-12) (Words fail me!)

THIS WEEK'S QUESTION: What do selenologists study? Butterflies, traffic density, the moon, vibrations or indigenous cultures?

Answer Next Week.

SOME FUN FACTS

976. A HEAVY LOAD
In the late 16th century French geographer Gerhard Mercator (1512-1594) published a book of maps whose cover was a picture of Atlas holding the world on his back. Almost from then on any collection of maps has been called an atlas. (First to carry the problems of the world on his shoulders.)

977. AN IMPOSTOR?
Napolean was not born in France. He was born on the small island of Corsica. But he was born on the day when France gained control over Corsica from Italy. So he was born in France. (Confused – I am. Maybe he was too.)

978. THE WORLD'S TALLEST MOUNTAIN?
You thought it was Mount Everest? All New Zealanders do, as it was first climbed by our favourite son Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tensing Norgay, from Nepal reaching the Earth's highest point at 11:30 am on May 29, 1953. Although Mount Everest, at 29,028 feet, is often called the tallest mountain on Earth, Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on the island of Hawaii, is actually taller. For only 13,796 feet of Mauna Kea stands above sea level, yet it is 33,465 feet tall if measured from the ocean floor to its summit. (Difficult to climb from the bottom though!)

A WORD PUZZLE FOR YOU

Make another word from this word using all the letters.

NYQUIST

Answer at the end of A David Musing

FREE DOWNLOAD: You can download the full version of our Trivia Book at TRULY TRIFFLING TRIVIA Or view all 1232 online at...

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66 BOOKS... 66 QUESTIONS

16: Nehemiah: After the exile what did Nehemiah oversee the rebuilding of?

a. Tabernacle
b. Walls
c. Temple
d. Jerusalem

Source: http://biblequizzes.org.uk

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IF ONLY I'D THOUGHT OF IT!

"""OTHER'S SAYINGS TO ENLIGHTEN, AMUSE, OR BEMUSE""" SAYINGS FOR YOU TO PONDER

!!!!!!! It's not the going out of port, but the coming in, that determines the success of the voyage.

!!!!!! God didn't promise an easy voyage, but a safe arrival.

!!!!! Pray in Faith ~ If you were given a cheque from a friend, would you wait until you cashed it to thank him?

!!!! Many people will not read a Bible, but they will read a Christian.

!!! Even a mosquito doesn't get a slap on the back until he starts to work.

!! Hint to a speaker: If you don't strike oil in 10 minutes, quit boring.

! Note the turtle: He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out.

100'S MORE TO BE FOUND AT...

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TILL DEATH DO US PART!

5. WHOSE KID?
Late one Saturday evening, I was awakened by the ringing of my phone. In a sleepy, grumpy voice I said hello. The party on the other end of the line paused for a moment before rushing breathlessly into a lengthy speech.

"Mum, this is Susan and I'm sorry I woke you up, but I had to call because I'm going to be a little late getting home. See, Dad's car has a flat but it's not my fault. Honest! I don't know what happened. The tire just went flat while we were inside the theater. Please don't be mad, okay?"

Since I don't have any daughters, I knew the person had dialed my number by mistake."I'm sorry dear," I replied, "but you've reached the wrong number. I don't have a daughter named Susan."

"Wow, Mum," the young woman's voice replied, "I didn't think you'd be this mad."

6. MY HEARINGS FINE!
A man goes to his doctor and says "I don't think my wife's hearing is as good as it used to be, what should I do?"

The doctor replies: "Try this test to find out for sure. When your wife is in the kitchen doing dishes, stand fifteen feet behind her and ask her a question, if she doesn't respond keep moving closer asking the question until she hears you."

The man goes home and sees his wife preparing dinner. He stands fifteen feet behind her and says "What's for dinner, honey?" No response. He moves to ten feet behind her and asks again, no response. Five feet, no answer. Finally he stands directly behind her and says, "Honey, what's for supper?"

She says, "For the fourth time, I SAID CHICKEN!"

7. ALMOST READY
On their anniversary night, the husband sat his wife sat down in the den with her favourite magazine, turned on the soft reading lamp, slipped off her shoes, patted and propped her feet and announced that he was preparing dinner all by himself. "How romantic!" she thought.

Two-and-a-half hours later, she was still waiting for dinner to be served. She tip-toed to the kitchen and found it a colossal mess. Her harried husband, removing something indescribable from the smoking oven, saw her in the doorway.

"Almost ready!" he vowed. "Sorry it took me so long - I had to refill the pepper shaker."

"Why, honey, how long could that have taken you?"

"More'n an hour, I reckon. Wasn't easy stuffin' it through those dumb little holes."

8. PURCHASING POWER
I was browsing in a souvenir shop when the man next to me struck up a conversation.

Just as he was telling me that his wife was getting carried away with her shopping, a brief power shortage caused the lights to flicker overhead.

"Ah," he sighed, "that must be her checking out now."

More on marriage and families here.....

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BIBLE TRIVIA (The Bible Lands)

THE CONTRASTS IN LANDSCAPE ARE REMARKABLE

Mt Hermon rises to 9,400ft, and is arctic in climate at the top. A little over 100 miles away, at the Dead sea, the climate is tropical. In the same glance you can see snow capped mountains and sun-baked deserts. Alongside fertile fields are stark deserts that have scarcely enough grass for flocks.

Adapted from: '1001 Surprising Things You Should Know About The Bible' MacGregor & Prys

Muslim woman from Morocco found God’s loving heart in France

By Mark Ellis God Reports

Marrakech, Morocco

She hungered for a personal relationship with God, but her attempts to follow all the rituals and practices of Islam left her empty. During college studying in France, she found a loving God who satisfied her deepest yearnings.

“As a child and as a teenager I truly believed Islam was from God,” says Wafa, who grew up in a secular Muslim family in Morocco. “I truly believed Muhammad was a prophet from God and that he was the best prophet,” she notes. “I had high esteem for Islam and for Muslims.”

In her teens, a disquiet in her soul led to further exploration of her beliefs. “I was thirsty for a personal relationship with God and I thought it would happen through Islam, so I started studying Islam in depth,” she says.

“One of the things that struck me in the Quran was the description of hell as a lake of fire, with people crying and screaming,” Wafa recalls. “I really didn’t want to go to that place.”

Wafa thought if she didn’t obey God, he would throw her into hell. “I always had questions about my final destiny, where I would end up.”

In search of deepened fellowship with God, she prayed five times a day and fasted during Ramadan. After six months of focused effort to draw closer to God, she came to a surprising conclusion: “I was as empty as before and even worse.”

After she shared her struggle with a friend, she was told, “You are thinking too much. You need to stop thinking and just practice like the other people.”

“But God created me with a mind,” Wafa replied. “Doesn’t he want me to use it?” She was very confused.

Wafa decided to go to her best friend and unburden herself of every concern she had about Islam. Her friend listened quietly without interrupting for an hour, and then said, “I believe there is a God who created the universe, but Muhammad is not his prophet and the Quran is not from God.”

As Wafa listened to her reply, her eyes widened and she was temporarily speechless. She knew her friend was raised in a Muslim home. This was the first person she met who was not a Muslim. I thought all the people in Morocco are supposed to be Muslims, she thought.

Wafa went home even more confused. She sat down on her bed and cried out, “God, I am sick and tired of doing all the rituals, all the five prayers, all the fasting, and feeling so empty. Please, if I’m going to die soon, don’t send me to hell. Millions of people around me seem to believe this.

“If this religion is from you please change my heart,” she added. “If this is not from you, please show me who you are.”

Wafa entered college and applied for a visa to study abroad. A few weeks after she arrived inFrance, she met a group of Christian students who invited her to a Bible study.

“I was nicely surprised by their sincere prayer and worship, how innocent and pure, just talking to God without rituals,” she recounts. “They came to God with their sins, to confess, to praise Him, thank Him, ask Him for help. It was the first time I saw people praying like that. I was touched; I loved it.”

There was something intangible they seemed to possess. “I started liking the God of Christianity, the loving side of God that was hidden according to the Muslim teaching.”

via: OpenHeaven.com

Continued at.....

http://www.openheaven.com/forums/forum_posts.asp?TID=40381&PN=1&TPN=1

DAVID'S DOWNLOAD

A REVELATION OF....... THE TABERNACLE OF DAVID

Sandwiched between Moses Tabernacle, representing the church, and Solomon's Temple, representing the Millennial reign of Christ, David's simple tent is a picture of the end time church that will last for but a short time before Jesus returns.

Check it out to find out about the people God is seeking for Himself today.

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WAXING LYRICAL

When you suffer from lack of inspiration, real rubbish comes out!

NON-SENSE

My inspiration has gone,
Mind isn't switched on.
Oh dear, what shall I do,
Just haven't got a clue!

So a witty ditty I ought to write
In the hope all will be alright,
For you to entertain if not inform,
The purpose for which I was born?

But to entertain one must have a wit,
If one's not to become a total twit,
For from wit to twit is a very, very, very small jump,
A 't' for Tait or 't' for tea - just a tiny wee bump.

It's easy to write nonsense you see,
Likely send us both up the tree,
The view from the top is an amazing sight to behold,
If to climb back down to earth, we are not too old.

Well, this dribble has gone on long enough,
For I know you are made of sterner stuff.
You would not bother to waste your ink,
On verse that really is, simply stink.

Stuck in the tree,
That, you can see,
Of my own volition,
While on a mission.

Stop now!
Pow wow!
Bid you bye,
From the sky!

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A DAVID MUSING

Have had a week of settling down into our new building. Of getting used to all the little things that you have to find out. Where the light switches are. That the toilet flushing button sticks.... and so on. But each day the building becomes more like home.

Reminds me of changing churches or fellowships. Remember once our church shifting to a new building. First week, everyone stopped at the door, as no-one knew where to sit! People slowly found their place. The second week, it was a lot quicker and by the third week you would thing we had been there forever!

Change is good. For it makes us think and reconsider our behavior. God is never changing, but He expects us to continually change, in order to become ever more aligned to His image. 'Comfort zones' are not a part of God's vocabulary!

Let us not avoid change! You will be surprised what God can do to you!

Until next week.....

MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND YOU BLESS GOD

His servant and yours

David Tait

Today's 'Word Puzzle' Answer: SQUINTY

TODAY'S 'BIBLE QUESTION' ANSWER: b. Walls (Nehemiah 3)

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ABOUT US

WALKING WITH JESUS MINISTRIES is a non-profit, non-denominational, Bible based ministry located in Hastings, New Zealand. A ministry dedicated to developing discipleship, fostering unity amongst God’s people to achieve the Great Commission, and in doing so, preparing for Christ’s return. It is securely based upon the foundational principles of the Apostles Creed while recognising the wide and rich diversity of beliefs amongst Christians in other areas. In accordance with the Lord’s direction, materials produced by the ministry are available, free of charge, to genuine enquirers upon request. The ministry is solely funded by donations, as the Lord provides. A list of materials available (plus some fun!) is obtainable and freely downloadable from our website
wwj.org.nz or by contacting us as follows.

Walking With Jesus Ministries
7 Bull Street
Ahuriri
Napier
New Zealand

Phone: (06) 835 0567 International (+64) 6 835 0567

Email: enquiries@wwj.org.nz
Web: wwj.org.nz

Our role is to bless and encourage those in ministry while promoting co-operation and unity of direction amongst the body of Christ, as emphasised 3 times by Jesus in His longest prayer, immediately prior to His arrest and crucifixion. "… so that they may be one as we are one." (John 17:12, 21, 23-4) Our website is currently being developed to encourage your participation one with another, to share resources, and to enable you to promote events and items of interest to the body as a whole – and have a smile while doing it!

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