Notebook

18 OCTOBER 2016, 05:52 PM

Please don’t mind the wrong spelling in the picture. I purchased the notebook as a small reward for the Bible Study that we just started two weeks ago. I thought of it as a little encouragement to anyone who attends the said small group who will show earnestness for knowing the Bible.

The notebook could be thought of as a small, cheap thing. Indeed. But if wrapped in love and concern, it could certainly touch the heart.

Why touch the heart? As the teacher and facilitator of the Bible Study, I act also as its pastor. And as a pastor, I should imitate the Chief Shepherd, the Lord God. Going back to the popular Shepherd Psalm, the twenty-third chapter of the Book of Psalms, we could all see the love and care of the One True Shepherd of our souls.

The first verse of the Psalm tells us that God gives the overall love and blessedness that we need to the point that we are truly satisfied. The second verse expands from the first one, giving us spiritual nourishment and peace that we experience in His presence. Then the third verse tells us of His guidance. The following fourth verse tells us of His protection, which includes His discipline as a part of it. The fifth verse tells us that enemies will not win over us, and the last verse that this such goodness will be done for us all the days of our lives.

As the pastor of the Bible Study, I should then make sure that I give them the similar care and love – of course I admit I am not capable of giving the same as the Lord gives, but I could start by showing them that I am sincere. Moreover, maybe the best that I could do is to help them realize such goodness from God Himself – by drawing them near to God.

Of course I know that times will come that I will give admonition and rebuke, but still I must not forget that above all things the Fatherly Love of God should be utmost. May God help me then to demonstrate such love.

Even by using this small notebook.

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9 thoughts on “Notebook

  1. You wrote QUOTE:
    “above all things the Fatherly Love of God should be utmost.”
    AMEN.

    Parable of the House Painters

    A homeowner called his friend, who was a painting contractor. “Friend, I want to hire you and your team to paint my house and my garage. Paint the house first, and I’ll stay in the garage until you’re done. Then when the paint is dry, I’ll move back into the house, and you can paint the garage.”

    The painting contractor hired a new foreman named Paul, and gave him the homeowner’s instructions. (Paul insisted that all the workers show respect for him by addressing him as “Boss Paul.”) Paul called the team of painters together and told them:
    “Boys, we need to paint this garage and house. The quicker we do it, the more profitable it is for us. So get to work! Since the garage is smaller, we can finish that quicker. Then those who finished the garage can go help the others finish the house.”

    One worker objected: “But Boss Paul, those were not the owner’s instructions! We are supposed to paint the house first. Only after the house is finished and the paint is dry can we go and paint the garage.”

    Paul replied: “I’m Boss, you work for me, and you do as I say. We are painters, and we paint. We don’t have time for debates about ‘which one is first’. We need to get to work applying that paint to the garage and house as quick as we can. Which owner would be upset if we finished early? The job is to paint the garage and house – what difference does it make ‘which one is first’”?

    “It makes a big difference to the owner,” the worker objected. To which Paul replied, “you’re fired.” Paul then took his team of painters, and started painting the garage and the house.

    When the homeowner returned in the evening, he was furious. He had nowhere to sleep, and had to go stay in a hotel for several days. The homeowner’s friend, the painting contractor, apologized, and explained:

    “I hired a new foreman named Paul, but that was a huge mistake. He ignored your instructions that I passed on to him. You don’t know him, and I’ve just barely met him.
    To be extremely polite, I could say that Paul ‘says some things which are difficult to understand.’ To be more direct, I could say Paul talks like an arrogant megalomaniac with a messiah complex, proclaiming; ‘I am not under the law’ but yet making up his own laws as he goes along, that everyone else has to obey. Paul said: ‘I became your father…. therefore I urge you to imitate me,’ and ‘I have become all things to all men.’ Paul thinks he’s Boss, and doesn’t need to listen to your instructions that I gave him.”

    In Matthew 22 and Mark 12, Jesus identified two commandments, saying one of them is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

      1. Amen.
        In Paul’s famous “chapter on love” [1 Corinthians 13] Paul referred to himself almost 20 times – but never mentioned God, or the Love of God, once! Paul made much of himself, but was not making much of God.

        Poem – What is love?

        Two men came to Jesus
        With different motivations.
        They asked Him the same question
        Relevant to all the nations:

        Which is the Most Important?
        The answer was the same.
        Jesus did not manipulate
        He was not there to play a game.

        “Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
        as He quoted from The Law –
        to fulfill and not abolish
        was His purpose, full of awe.

        Jesus did not make all Scripture
        Into one new great commandment.
        He summarized The Law and Prophets
        “First and Greatest” and “The Second.”

        The Love of God is higher
        Than the love of any man.
        Receive from God, give back to God-
        Then to others, that’s His plan.

        The Love of God involves much more
        Than simply “love your fellow man.”
        Worship, trust, and pray to God,
        and obey Him – that’s His plan

        To worship and pray to neighbors,
        Whoever they may be,
        Or trust and obey our enemies
        Would be idolatry.

        The love of God is first and greatest,
        And the love of man is second.
        “All we need is love” are words
        of dead Beetles on the pavement.

        “The entire law is summed up in a single command”
        are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
        It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
        an “accuser of our brethren.”

        “Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
        in his chapter to the Corinthians.
        “I will show you the most excellent way”
        is the road to eternal perdition.

        Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
        Nowhere in view of the eye.
        Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
        “I, I, I, I.”

        Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
        Not the words of a Pharisee.
        The words of Jesus are very clear.
        Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”

      2. Well my friend I think we will have a healthy discussion here tackling about 1 Corinthians 13. I believe that Paul was not anymore a Pharisee when he wrote that but as an Apostle of Christ to the Gentiles. The context of the said popular chapter is not about love per se but about the use of spiritual gifts in the spirit of love. He was only telling us that the use of gifts without love amounts to nothing.

  2. Dear beloved brother / chosen instrument of God ifacedownworship

    It’s good to talk your opinions, about what you “believe.”…. But first, we should agree about some facts of the text, which clear, not opinions.
    .1)
    Do you agree that in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul never mentioned God in any way, yet referred to himself about 19 times? Not opinion, but fact about this particular text.

    .2) In Acts, Luke records Paul saying, “I am a Pharisee” near the end if his recorded ministry. (not I WAS a Pharisee.)

    .3) No one appointed Paul an apostle, and no one gave Paul the title “Apostle to the Gentiles.”
    If you disagree, please quote me chapter and verse to show me, who appointed Paul an apostle, when, where, and who said that? (not simply “Paul said so” in his letters.) At what point in time did Paul become an “apostle”?

    “What is an Apostle?”
    Here is the answer based on the original sources:
    The words and actions of Jesus and the Original Apostles in the text of the New Testament.

    .1) Gospel of Mark – time lag between being appointed and being sent
    “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him…” [Mark 3:13-14]

    Three chapters later,
    “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” [Mark 6:6-7]

    .2) Gospel of Luke – time lag between being appointed and being sent
    “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon…..” [Luke 6:12-14]

    Again three chapters later,
    “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” [Luke 9:1-2]

    .3) Gospel of Matthew – which is organized by theme, not necessarily in chronological order.
    “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon…” [Matthew 10:1]

    Without any clear time reference, continuing on the theme of the Apostles, Matthew does record “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions…” [Matthew 10:5] Matthew never said that the Apostles were “sent out” immediately after being appointed. If we didn’t also have the clear records in Mark and Luke, it would be a fairly logical assumption that Jesus sent them out right away, but it would still be just an assumption. In this case, that assumption would clearly be wrong. The Twelve Apostles were absolutely NOT sent out right away after being appointed Apostles, according to Mark chapters 3 through 6, and Luke chapters 6 through 9.

    So being an Apostle of Jesus involves being sent by Jesus, yes. But that isn’t the only meaning, or even the first and primary meaning. The first thing was “that they might be with Him” personally, together, for His entire earthly ministry, from the time of John the Baptist until Jesus rose to heaven. Jesus poured his life into the 12 Apostles for 3 ½ years very personally training them to be the leaders of the church, and Jesus chose Peter as first among equals.

    The NIV translation inserts the heading “Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas” for the passage Luke wrote in Acts 1:12-26]. The NIV headings were not part of the original text, and sometimes they can be misleading, but in this case I believe the heading is right on.

    Jesus and the Original Apostles knew what an Apostle is better than anyone else in the world. Why is this a strange idea? Why do so many people frequently attack and tear down and dismiss the Original Apostles, particularly Peter, as if they were all incompetent, stupid, and wrong in so many ways, and they didn’t even know what an “Apostle” was? The answer to that question is, they have been listening to the voice of Paul, rather than the voices of Jesus and the Original Apostles.

    As we consider the question “what is an Apostle”, we should carefully listen to the words of the leader that Jesus personally appointed as first among the Apostles, and trained personally for 3 ½ years, Peter.

    “It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” [Acts 1:21-22]

    Neither Paul, nor James, nor Luke were with Jesus and the Apostles the whole time, so they were not qualified to be a “witness with the Apostles of Jesus’ resurrection”, which is what it means to be an Apostle. Matthias was qualified, appointed, and later recognized as part of The Twelve. No one except Judas ever lost his apostleship.

    Responding to a question from Peter,
    “Jesus said to them:
    …you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]

    We cannot prove that Judas was present at that time, and we cannot prove that Matthias was absent at that time when Jesus spoke those words. Even if Judas was physically present, as we all realize now, he was not a true follower of Jesus. And even if Matthias was physically absent at that particular occasion, Jesus is still establishing the basic qualification for having one of the twelve thrones as being “you who have followed me,” not someone who will follow Jesus in the future, like Paul, James, Luke or anyone else in the world.

    At the Last Supper, Jesus said to His Apostles:
    “You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Luke 22:28-30]

    Was Judas present when Jesus spoke those words? Even if someone wants to be argumentative and say we can’t prove that Judas wasn’t there at the time, we certainly can’t prove that Judas WAS there. Judas obviously didn’t stand by Jesus in his trial, as the whole world knows. But that was the requirement Jesus gave to “sit on thrones:” “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” “You”, speaking to His 11 Apostles who had been walking with Him faithfully for 3 ½ years. Not others in the future who will follow the risen Jesus Christ. Notice that at the Last Supper, when Judas lost his throne and Matthias was definitely absent, Jesus chose to speak of “thrones” rather than “twelve thrones” as he had previously.

    The Apostle John recorded about the New Jerusalem,
    “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” [Revelation 21:14]

    The Apostles are 12 faithful eyewitnesses who walked with Jesus during His entire earthly ministry, and Matthias is the 12th. That’s the short version of my definition of “what is an Apostle.”

    1. Hello Brother, sorry for a very late reply. It seemed to me that you regard Paul or his teachings as less important or reliable than those of Peter and the others. God in His sovereignty chose to include many of Paul’s letters – the Canon of the Scriptures.

      Regarding Paul’s apostleship, Peter clearly affirmed it, and Paul defended it.

      There are 3 basic requirements for apostleship: 1) Personally called by Christ, 2) Taught by Christ directly for years, and 3) Seen Him alive after the Resurrection – all of which fulfilled by Paul.

      1) Paul was confronted and called by Jesus (Acts 9);
      2) During Paul’s three years of exile in Arabia, he was personally taught by Jesus (Acts 9:20-25; Galatians 1:11-12, 15-18).
      3) Jesus confronted him at Damascus as the Risen Saviour.

      There’s no need to mention of Acts 13 and other numerous passages that show that the Church affirm his call and apostleship.

      Also, regarding 1 Cor 13, the term “I” never sound self-exaltation to me because if that is so, it will contradict the rest of his ministry, life, and teachings – He always exalted Jesus and preached that Jesus was the Son of God. He would boast of his weaknesses and what Christ has done on the Cross.

      1. Who appointed Paul an apostle, when, and where?
        Who accepted, affirmed, or recognized Paul individually as “an apostle”?
        Who gave Paul the title or role “Apostle to the Gentiles”?

        Can you quote me chapter and verse please?
        No, Luke’s editorial comments about “the apostles Barnabas and Paul” in Acts 14 don’t answer these questions – compare and contrast with Acts 1, 6, 9, 13 and 15. There were “prophets and teachers” in Antioch, NOT “apostles” [Acts 13:1]

        (No, being “sent” doesn’t make one an “apostle” according to Jesus – regardless of what you modern dictionary definition may say. You dictionary is not the Word of God.) In the Council at Jerusalem, there is no hint at all that either Barnabas or Paul were ever recognized as “apostles.” [Acts 15]. You can open your Bible and see for yourself. I’m not wrong. These are facts about the text.

        Neither do Peter’s passing comments about “beloved brother Paul” one time in 2 Peter 3:15 answer these questions. On the contrary, Peter’s reference to apostles in 3:2, and then use of the Greek word agapetoi throughout chapter 3, cut Paul down to size, and show that Paul has no special status or title as an apostle. Paul was simply “beloved,” just like everyone else Peter was writing to. God loves everyone.
        (The NIV Bible translates the words differently, sort of “covering” for Paul to make it seem like Paul is the only “beloved” one, while the readers of Peter’s letter are simply “friends” – but that is faulty translation, as you can see from the below detail.)

        2 Peter 3:1 agapetoi beloved
        2 Peter 3:8 agapetoi beloved
        2 Peter 3:14 agapetoi beloved
        2 Peter 3:15 agapetos henon adelfos Paulos, beloved of us brother Paul
        2 Peter 3:17 agapetoi beloved

        Nor did Jesus ever say Paul was an “apostle”, in Acts 9 or anywhere else. Every true follower of Jesus is a “chosen instrument of God”, and so were King Saul and King Solomon.

        “What is an Apostle?”
        Here is the answer based on the original sources:
        The words and actions of Jesus and the Original Apostles in the text of the New Testament.

        .1) Gospel of Mark – time lag between being appointed and being sent
        “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve – designating them apostles – that they might be with him…” [Mark 3:13-14]

        Three chapters later,
        “Then Jesus went around teaching from village to village. Calling the Twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits.” [Mark 6:6-7]

        .2) Gospel of Luke – time lag between being appointed and being sent
        “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles: Simon…..” [Luke 6:12-14]

        Again three chapters later,
        “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.” [Luke 9:1-2]

        .3) Gospel of Matthew – which is organized by theme, not necessarily in chronological order.
        “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal disease and sickness. These are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon…” [Matthew 10:1]

        Without any clear time reference, continuing on the theme of the Apostles, Matthew does record “These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions…” [Matthew 10:5] Matthew never said that the Apostles were “sent out” immediately after being appointed. If we didn’t also have the clear records in Mark and Luke, it would be a fairly logical assumption that Jesus sent them out right away, but it would still be just an assumption. In this case, that assumption would clearly be wrong. The Twelve Apostles were absolutely NOT sent out right away after being appointed Apostles, according to Mark chapters 3 through 6, and Luke chapters 6 through 9.

        So being an Apostle of Jesus involves being sent by Jesus, yes. But that isn’t the only meaning, or even the first and primary meaning. The first thing was “that they might be with Him” personally, together, for His entire earthly ministry, from the time of John the Baptist until Jesus rose to heaven. Jesus poured his life into the 12 Apostles for 3 ½ years very personally training them to be the leaders of the church, and Jesus chose Peter as first among equals.

        The NIV translation inserts the heading “Matthias Chosen to Replace Judas” for the passage Luke wrote in Acts 1:12-26]. The NIV headings were not part of the original text, and sometimes they can be misleading, but in this case I believe the heading is right on.

        Jesus and the Original Apostles knew what an Apostle is better than anyone else in the world. Why is this a strange idea? Why do so many people frequently attack and tear down and dismiss the Original Apostles, particularly Peter, as if they were all incompetent, stupid, and wrong in so many ways, and they didn’t even know what an “Apostle” was? The answer to that question is, they have been listening to the voice of Paul, rather than the voices of Jesus and the Original Apostles.

        As we consider the question “what is an Apostle”, we should carefully listen to the words of the leader that Jesus personally appointed as first among the Apostles, and trained personally for 3 ½ years, Peter.

        “It is necessary to choose one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from John’s baptism to the time when Jesus was taken up from us. For one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” [Acts 1:21-22]

        Neither Paul, nor James, nor Luke were with Jesus and the Apostles the whole time, so they were not qualified to be a “witness with the Apostles of Jesus’ resurrection”, which is what it means to be an Apostle. Matthias was qualified, appointed, and later recognized as part of The Twelve. No one except Judas ever lost his apostleship.

        Responding to a question from Peter,
        “Jesus said to them:
        …you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Matthew 19:28]

        We cannot prove that Judas was present at that time, and we cannot prove that Matthias was absent at that time when Jesus spoke those words. Even if Judas was physically present, as we all realize now, he was not a true follower of Jesus. And even if Matthias was physically absent at that particular occasion, Jesus is still establishing the basic qualification for having one of the twelve thrones as being “you who have followed me,” not someone who will follow Jesus in the future, like Paul, James, Luke or anyone else in the world.

        At the Last Supper, Jesus said to His Apostles:
        “You are those who have stood by me in my trials. And I confer on you a kingdom, just as my Father conferred on one on me, so that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” [Luke 22:28-30]

        Was Judas present when Jesus spoke those words? Even if someone wants to be argumentative and say we can’t prove that Judas wasn’t there at the time, we certainly can’t prove that Judas WAS there. Judas obviously didn’t stand by Jesus in his trial, as the whole world knows. But that was the requirement Jesus gave to “sit on thrones:” “You are those who have stood by me in my trials.” “You”, speaking to His 11 Apostles who had been walking with Him faithfully for 3 ½ years. Not others in the future who will follow the risen Jesus Christ. Notice that at the Last Supper, when Judas lost his throne and Matthias was definitely absent, Jesus chose to speak of “thrones” rather than “twelve thrones” as he had previously.

        The Apostle John recorded about the New Jerusalem,
        “The wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” [Revelation 21:14]

        The Apostles are 12 faithful eyewitnesses who walked with Jesus during His entire earthly ministry, and Matthias is the 12th. That’s the short version of my definition of “what is an Apostle.”

      2. Surely, the 12 Apostles were truly Apostles, no doubt about that. But if the Bible tells me that Paul addressed himself as an Apostle, and the Scriptures affirm it, and never in one place contradicts it, then I accept it for it is – because I am no wiser than the Bible, I am not the final authority for matters of faith, but the Bible is.

        If I regard a place in the Bible more reliable than the others, that is, if I believe one passage to be truer than the others, then why should I believe in the Bible at all? If I believe yes, that others are labeled as Apostles, but then reject someone on the ground that he called himself an Apostle, yet the NT altogether nowhere rejects his claims, then what kind of a believer I am, making Scriptures contradict Scriptures?

        I may not be so knowledgeable in Greek nor Hebrew, but one thing is certain – to my delight in the Grace of God – yes, to His Glory only – that I accept His Word as it is written.

        If I believe certain parts of the Bible to be true, then reject some parts, especially those that carry Apostolic teachings and doctrines, then I have the deep problem of seeing Scriptures as either contradictory or unreliable – or, the problem lies in Scriptures itself, which is blasphemous.

        I would rather choose to humbly sit under the feet of God, and learn from Him, lowly and not knowledgeable that I am.

        May God have mercy on us.

        Love, in the Name of Jesus. Amen.

  3. Dear Matthew Perri,

    We all know these verses:

    2 Timothy 3:16-17 (KJV) 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, throughly furnished unto all good works.

    It does mean that Scriptures teach us about God, and of course by that I do not mean including the lies of men, or the accusations of Satan as recorded in the Bible (though of course we also learn from those things). What I mean is that Apostolic Teachings, including those written by Peter, John, and Paul are for our good, teaching us the essentials of faith and Christian living.

    Please do not make Scriptures contradict Scriptures and God Himself. Scriptures speak of God, and shows us the Perfect Nature of God.

    If you can not believe the teachings of Paul but could accept those written by Peter or John, or by the prophets whose lives were not perfect, then the problem is with your attitude, of how you choose to be wiser than the Bible, or to be wiser than God.

    If you accept Jesus and is humble enough to submit to Him, you will also acknowledge that Paul was one of his true servants. Since your first
    reply you already showed a disgust for Paul.

    Like Paul, I say to you, 1 Corinthians 1:12-13 (KJV) Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ.
    Is Christ divided? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?

    God have mercy on us,

    Francis.

    ——-

    For the readers of these comments, I decided to hide Matthew Perri’s two latest comments on the ground that I think those comments already went far beyond what is necessary and should be better hidden to not affect the faith of those starting in Christ.

    This blog too is not supposedly to be an avenue for doctrines or debates.

    May we all learn form God and the Bible.

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