Signs


As I was reading through the text of the book of Exodus this summer, I noticed something regarding the two signs, which the LORD gave to Moses to perform in front of His people. Those two signs were aiming, not only, at mere confirmation of the truthfulness of the message (Exod 4:1-9), but also were to speak or to witness קוֹל a message to the hearers.

The usage of קוֹל (sound/voice), and the verb שׁמע (listen) in the phrase יִשְׁמְע֔וּ לְקֹ֖ל הָאֹ֣ת (Exod 4:8) translated by the NET Bible, “pay attention to the … sign” does not point to the meaning of the sign, but rather denotes  “the voice”, the “noise” it causes. As if the signs cry loud to the people, “this is supernatural, this is divine, and you got to believe.”

Therefore, these signs were to accompany Moses’ words, in order to witness to the divine origin of the salvation he proclaims. The Signs were a voice, a trumpet that this Salvation is both true and divine.

In fact, this pattern is similar to Jesus’ proclamation of salvation (John 10: 36-38). A proclamation that was accompanied by marvelous signs to witness to the Divinity of Jesus and the truthfulness and seriousness of His Salvation. Of course I need to do further study to confirm/refute this interpretation. Nonetheless, I thought it is worth sharing so far.

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Christian Love


The Christian love is shaped by the biblical principle of sacrifice. God the Father showed us His love in the incarnational and sacrificial work of His Son (Jn 3:16). Moreover, love is given to Christians by the dwelling of His Spirit in them when they believed (Rom 5:5). Therefore, true Christian love is not about satisfying the self, nor it is like the hypocritical political correctness of the world. In short,  biblical Christians should not conform to the world’s perception of love, because they disagree with the world on the meaning, source, and end of love.

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THE PILGRIM’S SIGNIFICANCE 1


John Bunyan is a major figure in the seventeenth century’s English Puritan movement. Many factors have contributed to make Bunyan as famous as he is today, factors such as his unique conversion experience, his devoted ministry, which led to his persecution, and some of the sixty books he authored during his life. Nonetheless his unique book, The Pilgrim’s Progress, Part 1, is the main cause of his prominent fame. This specific work is regarded as one of the most important contributions to Christian thinking.[1]

Bunyan was born in November, 1628, to a father who worked as a tinker.[2]  While John was still a young man he joined the parliamentarian army and participated in the English Civil War.  During the war years he married. After the war, he went through a long process of  Christian conversion (1650-1655). Soon after his conversion, he became an active preacher, and because of his faith and ministry, Bunyan was detained and put into jail for twelve years (1660-1672) for preaching without a license from the Church of England. In the course of his long imprisonment he was able to write many books including his masterpiece, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

[1]Catholic University of America., New Catholic Encyclopedia, vol. II (New York,: McGraw-Hill, 1967), 886.

[2]Vera Brittain, Valiant Pilgrim : The Story of John Bunyan and Puritan England (New York: Macmillan, 1950), 41.

Not to Be Surprised


 

Surely there are many good and non violent people among all races and religious groups.Yet one cannot predict who out of the followers of  Islam would be born from below. By the “born from below,” I simply mean the exact opposite of the  biblical term “born from above,” or in other translations “born again” (John 3).

While this term might sound weird for most of non Christians, Christians shouldn’t be surprised. Because we Christians believe that God through His Spirit  transforms their lives, and they refer to this transformation as being “born again” or “born from above.” Therefore, it is not hard for us to understand that another faith system can offer an opposite transforming experience  from our own.

To be more clear, I am not trying to demonize the followers of Islam, but to clarify the wickedness of  serious and true Muslims, who are certainly  transformed by an evil belief system of  hate and deception. This system of faith is simply evil since it comprises clear elements of hate, and violence. A belief system that justifies bloodshed of infidels, Jews, and Christians. All this, can be found , not only in the Quran, but also in the Hadith, in the history of interpretation, and is practically manifested by their long history of intolerance toward different non Muslim faiths for more than fourteen centuries.

By personal observation, this transformation can span from few days to years, also it can never be completed to a full transforming experience in the life time of a Muslim (which  is in fact more common). Yet when this “born from below” experience occurs, and his/her mind is activated and indoctrinated with a seriously strong jihadic  belief system.

The consequences  conform to Hell, and people are astonished or rather stunned by this acts of Jihad. Nonetheless, Christians  shouldn’t be appalled by these acts of evil, because we also have a belief system that is good, and we not only believe that our good God exists, but also we belief  that Satan exists, and  that he is active in this fallen world (Eph 2:2). We can understand that there can be an evil transforming religious experience, when people truly believe in bad and evil doctrines.

Moreover, we also know that our  ultimate hope is not in the wisdom of this age, nor in an earthly savior who is a smart politician or a good statesman (although these are needed to restrict evil in the world), but our real  hope is in Christ and God’s Kingdom.To him be Glory and the final victory over all these evils, and over Satan himself (Rev 20:10).

Kingdom’s Concept


 I enjoyed my summer New Testament class, learned a great deal specifically about the importance of the “Kingdom of God” concept. Jesus in the Synoptic Gospels came proclaiming the Kingdom to his hearers. What is the relation of this concept with Jesus ministry, death, and Resurrection? Does the kingdom implies two elements, or rather more than one eschatology? What is the relation between the Kingdom and God’s plan of salvation (esp. in Luke)? George E.Ladd’s Book: A Theology of The New Testament, was a very helpful source for understanding the Kingdom’s concept during the course.

لمحات عن الروح القدس


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هو الأقنوم الثالث من الأقانيم (الشخوص الأزلية الأبدية المتمايزة لكن غير منفصلة وغير محدودة ) الإلهيه ذات الجوهر الالهي الواحد وهو أيضا روح الله ، موجود منذ الأزل وهو قد أشترك في خليقة هذا الكون و رعايته,” كانتالارضخربةوخاليةوعلىوجهالغمرظلمةوروحاللهيرفعلىوجهالمياه.( تكوين 1: 2) . لذلك قال الوحى على لسان أيوب:  ” روحاللهصنعنيونسمةالقديرأحيتني. ايوب33 : 4

الله الروح القدس يُعلن لنا عن الله الآب و محبته و عن الله الإبن و تجسده و فدائه و به تحدث الولادة الجديدة أى الروحية التى ليست من مشيئة أنسان (يو 1: 13) لذلك لا يوجد إيمان حقيقي بدون عمل الروح القدس, لابأعمالفيبرعملناهانحن،بلبمقتضىرحمته خلصنابغسلالميلادالثانيوتجديدالروحالقدس” تيطس 3: 5

أن الإعلان و الوحي المكتوب قد أُعطي لنا بالروح القدس الذي أوحي للأنبياء و الرسل و رجال الله لكي يكتبوا كلمة الله , ” عالمين هذا أولا: أن كل نبوة الكتاب ليست من تفسير خاص،  لأنه لم تأت نبوة قط بمشيئة إنسان، بل تكلم أناس الله القديسون مسوقين من الروح القدس. 2بطرس 1: 20- 21

الروح القدس هو المعزي و المعلم في الكنيسة الحقيقية (يوحنا 14: 26). فهو يذكرنا بكلام ووصايا الرب و يعلمنا كيف نسلك في طريق الحياة

الله الروح أو ( الروح القدس) يعمل في قلوب ودواخل المؤمنين في كل من

الولادة الجديدة , أي الإيمان بالمخلص و هو بداية الحياة مع الله و العودة الى حضن الآب , يو 3

– التقديس , أي حياة الجهاد بالنعمة بعد الإيمان، وهو يستخدم بالطبع كلمة الله المقدسة في تشكيل المؤمنين والكنيسة (أفسس 6: 17) لذلك لا فهم لكلمة الله المقدسة و مشيئته الصالحة بدون روحه القدوس .

لا خدمة (أشعياء 48: 16)  ولا كنيسة حقيقية يمكن أن تُوجد بدون الروح القدس, فهو الذى أشعل شرارة البداية للكنيسة بعد صعود المسيح فى يوم الخمسين( أعمال 2) و لنذكر أن المسيح أعلن صراحة أن عبادتنا لله يجب أن تكون بالروح و الحق (  يوحنا 4: 24) لذلك كل عبادة ظاهرية طقسية كانت أو حتى غير طقسية  لو كانت بدون الروح القدس و حق الأعلان المكتوب هى غير مقبولة لدى الله.

الروح القدس يُعطي ويُمنح من خلال المسيح ( تيطس 3: 6، يوحنا 1: 33 ، اعمال 2: 33 ) فهو روح الله ( الاب ) وروح المسيح (الإبن),  1 بطرس 1: 11

 الروح القدس يسكن في أتباع المسيح الحقيقين،( رومية 8: 9) بينما العالم لا يقبله ولا يفهم حكمته فهو ليس الروح العامل في العالم وحكمته ليست كحكمة هذا العالم ( يوحنا 14: 17 ). لذلك فالعالم لا يفهم و لا يقدر فى الكثير من الأحيان ثمر الروح فينا الذى هو: محبةفرحسلام،طولأناةلطفصلاح،إيمان . وداعةتعفف. ضدأمثالهذهليسناموس” (غل 5: 22-23) بل يعتبرها سذاجة أو حتى يظن أننا ضعفاء أو أن وراء سلوكنا المختلف أمور شريرة أو أغراض دنياوية , لأن حكمة هذا العالم نفعية جسدية مادية. و أما بالنسبة لمواهب الروح القدس العجيبة التى أُعطيت للشهادة عن الحق و لتأييد الكرازة و نشرالأنجيل, و هى تسعة مواهب أهمها و أشهرها النبوة وأنواع الألسنة (1كور 12, 14) فأن الكنيسة تحتاج إليها لتثبيت ملكوت المسيح و شهادة الأنجيل, 1 كورنثوس 2: 4- 5،.

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