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MustardSeed_v2.3

MustardSeed_v2.3

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Mustard Seed Vol2.3 for Christian Living, Bible study, Godhead, Jesus Christ, Filipino, Sabbath, Truth
Mustard Seed Vol2.3 for Christian Living, Bible study, Godhead, Jesus Christ, Filipino, Sabbath, Truth

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Published by: MustardSeedNews on Apr 29, 2009
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05/11/2014

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 1
FEAST OF PASSOVER ISSUE 
FILIPINO FEATURE
‘Ang Pagkabuhay na Muli 
—Ito Baay TOTOO?’ 
See page 11 
 
Vol. 2 No. 3
March-April 2009
 
GGGGODODODOD
In Person 
 
Is God everywhere? Is he in everyleaf of every tree? Does hepermeate the cosmos with hisbeing? Is he in every blade of grass?Well, yes and no. God is in everyblade of grass in the same way I amin a transceiver I built years ago andlater sold. You might even findsome of my DNA in that radio,because I got a little careless withmy tools. But I am not there. I amhere.God is in every blade of grass in thesame way my wife is in the littlepainting she did years ago when wewere playing with oils. But if youthink you can put your foot on Godwhen you walk across the grass,you are badly mistaken.I don’t know when it happened, Idon’t know where it happened. Ithas probably happened over andover again in history, but somehow,we have been sold a bill of goodsabout what Andree Seu calls "Alower case, upper story god whowas the ‘ground of being.’"Whatever in the world that means.God is not everywhere. He is wherehe wants to be when he wants to bethere.
(Continued on page 4)
 
Could you recognize "another Jesus"? ...
Whois Jesus?
The Bible mentions "another Jesus".Is the one you worship the Jesus of salvation?
Possibly one in three of earth's population would claim to be `Christian'. They believe, of course, that their faith was founded by Jesus Christ just under twothousand years ago. It's generally believed that one mid-winter day he was born in astable and lived some thirty years in Palestine before beginning a ministry duringwhich he laid the principles of a brand new faith - Christianity.He was `framed' by the Jewish religious authorities and handed to the secular Romans - who crucified him one morning. He died that afternoon. Death, however,didn't hold him, for he was resurrected three days and three nights later, and is alivetoday.
Fact or Fiction?
 
The whole concept of a historical Jesus has been debunked asmyth. It's a way to convey some profound truths - but Jesus himself never existed,goes the story. Never mind that this flies in the face of inconvertible testimony fromancient sources.
(Continued on page 2)
 
 
 2
 From page 1…
Let's examine, though, some of the
real 
 myths that surround this most historical of those whoinhabit history's hall of fame.Depending on culture, Jesus has been portrayed by a varietyof physical racial stereotypes. He's `like one of us' - black,or white or yellow or brown. And with 'our features'. Butwhatever our perception of him, Jesus was born of a womanof Judah in Palestine, and there's no Biblical indication thathe differed from those around him. However the Jews of thetime may have physically looked at that moment of history -Jesus was one of them! His physical characteristics areirrelevant to his mission.Much of the story - as peddled in Christian circles - isindeed fiction. He was not, for example, born in December.He did not die on a Friday, nor was he resurrected onSunday. Nor did Jesus introduce a brand-new religion!The Bible does, though, give us arounded picture of an individual borninto a law-abiding religious family. Hegrew up in a Jewish family with several brothers and sisters. He looked like hisfellow countrymen, ate like his fellows,worshipped like them. In general he was part of the local culture.
Worship.
Take the way Jesusworshipped. Like all his co-religionistshe attended synagogue on the seventh-day Sabbath and observed the divinely-appointed annual festivals passover andUnleavened Bread, Firstfruits, Trumpets, Atonement andTabernacles. The Bible traces his attendance at and supportfor these `holy convocations' or services. Nor did his death change his attitude to these holy days.Even in those tumultuous last days of his life Jesus made provision for the disciples to observe the festival of Unleavened Bread after his death. He rose from the dead asthe `Firstfruits' at the very time when the Jews celebratedthe cutting of the firstfruits grain harvest. He then markedthe beginning of his church by sending his Spirit on thetraditional `Day of Pentecost'. These days, in other words,were shadows - faint images of the reality which wasfulfilled in him.
Christian Practice.
And what of the first Christians? HadJesus left special instructions secret instructions - that allthis should change? Secret - for nowhere do we find in theentirety of Scripture that his disciples should now abandonthese age-old holy days and substitute Christmas, Easter,All Souls, saints days etc!The New Testament (e.g., Acts 17:2) record clearlyevidences the disciples observing the `Jewish' Sabbath -actually God's Sabbath, the festival of Unleavened Bread (ICorinthians 5), Pentecost (or feast of Firstfruits (I Cor.16:8), Atonement - the `fast' (Acts 27:9).The apostle Paul sums it up this way, speaking to the Jewishleaders in Rome near the end of his life: "I have committednothing against the people or customs of our fathers" (Acts28:17). Earlier he had in a court of law refuted his accuserssaying: "Neither against the law of the Jews, neither againstthe temple nor against Caesar have I offended anything atall" (Acts 25:8).
Old Time Religion.
Paul was simply reflecting the teachingof Jesus. Our Savior did not overturn the `old time religion'the faith of the Scriptures. He built on it. The NewTestament is his final testimony, until his return, to theFather's revelation.Constantly Jesus would refer to the writingsof Moses and the prophets. The divine Law,he said, was now to be `written on the heart'- inward. Jesus magnified the Law of Godinsisting that not only should we submit toit in practice but even in our thoughts(Matthew 5-7). It's not just sin to murder  but it is sin to even hate, for example. If weare to be his disciples we must abandon our own humanly devised traditionalobservances.In contrast to modern Christianity, Jesus -and his first disciples positively upheld theteachings of the Old Testament. There is no `immortal soul'.The divine Law is at the heart of true religion. There is noheavenly reward and no fire that will endlessly consume theunrepentant. And, as we have seen, there is in the religion of the Bible no Christmas, no Easter, no 'saints days'.Most, indeed, of modern Christianity's cherished beliefs aretotally absent - often condemned - in the teaching of Jesusand the apostles! Observed objectively the Bible andmodern Christianity appear as
two totally different religions.
The terminology is the same. The lead charactersare the same. But the substance is different with onlyoccasional overlap.Paul warned of 'a different gospel which is not another'(Galatians 1:6-7). It sounded similar, it used the samewords, it included similar concepts - but it was 'another'. Adevilish deception.False prophets abounded then -
as now.
'Deceitful workers'Paul called them to the Corinthian brethren. They pretended
 
 3
to be true Christians - yet preached 'another Jesus' (2Corinthians 11:4). And no wonder, says Paul "for Satanhimself transforms himself into an 'angel of light'. Thereforeit is no great thing if his ministers transform themselves asministers of righteousness" (2 Cor. 11:13-15).Is the Jesus
 you
know the
real 
Jesus? Could you possiblyhave received 'a different spirit', a 'different gospel' (v.4)?According to the Scriptures that's a possibility! Paulelsewhere urges his readers to 'examine yourself whether you are in the faith'.
Dramatic Struggle.
So - how did the primitive faithchange? Why does modern Christianity differ so vastlyfrom the life-style and the teaching of Jesus?Christianity was born into a world in religious turmoil. Inthe eastern Mediterranean countries the ferment wasdominated by Greek thought - a philosophy that had beenhammered out over several centuries. The ancient - andBiblical - concepts of the nature of man were replaced by auniversal notion of inborn immortality. First centuryreligion was deeply influenced by those ascetic practicesforcefully condemned by the apostle Paul in his letter to theColossian Christians.Because the religious foundation of the Old Testament wasrejected the floodgates opened to any and every practiceunder the guise of `being led afresh by the Spirit'.But as Paul wrote to the young evangelist Timothy (2Timothy 3:14-17): "...you must continue in the things youhave learned and been assured of, knowing from whom youhave learned, and that from childhood you have known theHoly Scriptures which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus".What were the `Holy Scriptures'? None other than the bookswe know as the Old Testament, for the New was not yetwritten.Beguiled by the false notion that Christians had no need for the divine Law, the majority rejected God's Sabbath, theannual holy days, the ethical code of Scripture leaving anopen door for a host of `pagan' practices. The apostles battled against this slippery path into lawlessness to noavail. It opened the way for the great Babylonian mysteryreligion to take over the church of God.It was a different Jesus, a different Gospel, a different spirit.Christians embraced a lawless spirit - powerfullycondemned by Jesus and his apostles.Jesus warned that his way was tough. It would dividefamilies. It would invite persecution and death for manywho followed him. And in our day it is a minority religion. Not a couple of billion but a tiny handful of believersstruggling against a tide of lawlessness in and out of theChristian church.The late first century churches (Revelation 2 & 3) had sunk into this spiritual mire. As then, so too now, Jesus' call tothe vast majority of those who profess to know him is`change now' - abandon lawlessness. To those who obey,his message is `stay faithful'.
 
 / 
James McBride, Churches of God, UK.
 
God—In Person…
(from page 1)Understand, ye brutish among the people: and ye fools, when will ye be wise? He that planted the ear, shall he not hear? he that formed the eye, shall he not see?" (Psalms 94:8-9).
We know that we can’t hide from God, but if he doesn’t want to see or to hear,no power in the universe can make him. God does not have to watch every sexcrime, every foul murder of a child perpetrated on his world below. It is not aquestion of divine ability or presence, but of divine will.
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear" (Isaiah59:1-2).
Increasingly, even skeptics are being forced to admit that evolution simply can’taccount for everything that is. But even admitting the irreducible complexity of the cell, many are still not ready to admit to the idea of God. So they are left withdesign without a designer.It may be a new Deism, an idea thatGod created all this, but leftimmediately and has no further interestin what he made. It is a silly idea on itsface, but what lies behind it? I thinkthere is a simple fear of acknowledgingthe reality of a personal God, becausea personal God will have ideas. He willhave preferences. He may even havedemands. He may expect things of usthat we don’t want to do. He may havestandards we don’t want to live up to.But hiding your face from God won’tmake him go away. God, knew whatwould happen when men were finallyforced to admit that they can’t explainintelligent design without adesigner.God knew that they wouldthen invent a god for themselves whois an impersonal, cosmic force. A Godwho is everywhere and nowhere at the

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