Category Archives: Articles

God creates light on the first day of creation – what does that mean?

Thank you for your question. It is simple yet very profound. You ask about the first day so I assume you are referring to the reference to the first day account of creation as told in the first chapter of Genesis.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 1:2 And the earth was waste and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. Gen 1:3 And God said, Let there be light: and there was light. Gen 1:4 And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. Gen 1:5 And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

We do not know from this passage if there was light already emanating in the heavens (the universe) after Gen 1:1 and God just let it penetrate the earth’s atmosphere; or if God merely ignited the Sun in our own solar system which illuminated the earth, or if there was no light in all the universe and then he switched it on at that point by the power of his command. The possibilities are interesting.  However, the main point here is that God established a difference between light of day and darkness of night. He established for mankind, in the first day of creation, the basis for “time” as we know it. Time is important because He also set in motion a plan that would ultimately result in a finite number of his created human beings ultimately becoming divine creatures with his very nature and character of wisdom, love, power and justice. This plan had a definite timeline. In order for us to understand this plan as it unfolds, we needed a basis to measure it by. Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks ….etc. are all possible because God created light; He separated the evening and the morning into a unit of time called a “day”. God’s time line goes on to detail 6 days of creation and 1 day of rest which are all symbolic of his divine plan.

I would invite you to further investigate this plan. It is one of logic and hope. You can find it at electronically at http://www.biblestudents.com/htdbv5/indexa.htm. This provides you an overview of the Divine Plan of The Ages. From there you can delve into a more thorough explanation of each phase of the plan in plain logical sequence as revealed from God’s own word. There is a free online course you can learn more from at http://www.biblestudents.com/free_online_bible_study.cfm or you can receive a free copy of the overview in printed form at http://www.biblestudents.com/freebook.cfm.

Is There an Unpardonable Sin?

According to the scriptures, all sin and blasphemy will be forgive except one. There is a sin that is unpardonable and will require recompense from all.  “Therefore I say unto you, Every sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men; but the blasphemy against the Spirit shall not be forgiven. And whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever shall speak against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, nor in that which is to come.” (Mat 12:31-32)(Lk 12:10)(Mk3:28-29)
To fully understand what is being spoken here, one must understand what the Holy Spirit is; what the punishment is; and when is does the state of unforgiven occur.
First, the Holy Spirit is not an entity, personage, or separate sovereign. It is the power and character of God Almighty, Jehovah. Take the Sun for example, we know it exists, we feel its heat and see its light. But the heat and the light are not the Sun, only characteristics and manifestations of the Sun. Like the Sun, Jehovah has characteristics and manifestations that the scripture reveals to us as ultimate Love, Justice, Wisdom and Power, which emanate from Him. These attributes work together in harmony, not at their own accord, but by the will of Jehovah who possesses them and from whom they emanate. All creation is ordered by these characteristics which are the standard or touchstone of all love, justice, wisdom and power.
We too have a spirit. It too is not a separate entity within us but are those characteristics and manifestations that represent us and our thoughts, behaviors and actions. The spirit of man and his flesh is in a fallen state, separated from relationship with God. So, it is very rare that man’s spirit aligns with or is unison with God’s Spirit. Man’s spirit is deficient compared to God’s. Therefore he is not righteous nor can he be without God’s Spirit be in him.
 We know from scripture, the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). All have sinned and fall short of the glory (Holy Spirit) of God.(Rom 3:23, Rom 5:12). All die, and it is actually appointed to all men to die once.(Heb_9:27). We are told that all will be resurrected, some to life and some to judgement (not damnation, that is a faulty translation)(Jn 5:28-29). So, we know there will be 2 categories of people. One that is resurrected to life, and one that is resurrected to a time of judgement – that is teaching, development and testing. This time will be the millennial kingdom of Jesus.
We must understand God’s Justice. If someone creates a debt or obligation, they must usually repay that debt or obligation. If someone commits a sin or offense, they must usually be punished for that sin or offense. To forgive someone of something means that they are released from the debt or obligation. What Jesus was telling us is that anyone who speaks against God’s Holy Spirit, his character, his good intentions, or attributes God’s good actions toward evil, they will not have that offense forgiven them. They will have to be punished for that. We are not told what the punishment will be, merely that they will not escape having to make restitution.
Jesus speaks of this world, the present evil world, in the current Gospel Age. All people, Christians and non-Christians are under the same penalty regarding this one offense. In ignorance, one may violate the principle and will eventually have to resolve the offense. In the current Gospel age, when one consecrates oneself to God through Jesus Christ, their sins reckoned forgiven by grace due to the merit of Christ. For this sin, according to the scripture, one must still pay a price with some form of corrective punishment. As a Christian develops, they are a new creation and God shares his Spirit with those dedicated to him and over time he develops, shapes and polishes them like preparing jewels. These spirit-begotten ones most likely will go through trials, tribulations, teaching hardships for their developmental good. Some of these life experiences may involve strips, punishments or special trials. These might be part of the payment for offenses that are not congruent with our Christian walk, and like a loving Father, they are done for our good and development. With the true Christian, when much is given in the form of truth, light, knowledge, and forgiveness; much is also expected in obedience, development and righteousness. (Lk 12:47-48) In the resurrection, spirit-begotten will have lived a life under grace and experienced correction by sacrifice of one’s personal desires and ambitions in place of seeking to do God’s will. They will receive a resurrection unto life. Those that achieve the highest levels of Christ-likeness, the Church, resurrect to spirit nature, not one of flesh.
The rest of mankind will resurrect in the flesh on earth. They will be forgiven their sins due to the ransom paid by Christ, which will be applied to all. Then the kingdom will offer mankind a time of training in righteousness, free of evil. Mankind will still have to restitute for the sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit, however it will be just and under the loving supervision of Jesus. Like Christians in the Gospel Age, all the rest of mankind will be required to learn obedience and righteousness under the guidance of an intermediary, Jesus. At the end of that 1000 year kingdom, all hearts will be tested. Those who have forsaken evil and the spirit of the world and have embraced righteousness shall receive eternal life on earth. Those that have not will be judged unfavorably and will receive the wages of sin, a second death which is also eternal. Not life elsewhere under unfavorable conditions, but oblivion.
Regardless of the category one may fall under described in Jn 5:28-29, ALL are liable for the sin of speaking against the Holy Spirit. All who do will be judged justly and will be required to make whatever restitution for the offense that Jesus deems appropriate.

Washington Bible Students Convention 2019

On Saturday, Sept 14, for those brethren riding the chartered bus to/from the Museum of the Bible from the Hilton Garden Inn BWI, the bus will be BEHIND the Hilton at 9:00 am and will leave no later than 9:30 am.  For the return trip from the Museum, brethren should be at the bus by 4:30 pm.

On Sunday, Sept 15, the convention will be broadcast on Adobe Connect using the link below.

Adobe Connect:  https://biblestudents.adobeconnect.com/washington

Memorial

“For as often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, you
proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.”
-1 Co. 11:26

The date of the memorial

THURSDAY 18th April 2019 (14th Nisan) after 7.00 pm.
For more details on locations where the memorial will be held please contact us at washingtonbiblestudents@gmail.com.

This year in preparation for the Memorial we will be studying several articles from the Memorial Meditation book.

The week of  March 4th the article entitled “Counting the Blood Common” from pages 231-233 of the Memorial Meditations book will be discussed.

The week of  March 11th the article entitled “Hebrew Day – Jesus Last Day”  will be discussed.

The week of  March 18th the article entitled “The Last Week of Jesus Life”  will be discussed.

The week of March 25th the article entitled “Hezekiah’s Great Passover” will be discussed.

The week of April 1st the article entitled “Passover and Atonement Day Sacrifices” will be discussed.

The week of April 8th the article entitled “The Passover of the New Creation” will be discussed.

Do This in Remembrance of Me (Luke 22:19)

This request by Jesus on the night that he was betrayed, 2000 years later is still being observed by His followers all around the world. They remember the great sacrifice that He made on their behalf in giving His life as a “ransom for all” to be testified in due time.

The night was the 14th of Nisan when He came with His disciples to have the Last Supper with the twelve. They celebrated together the Passover which the Jews were to celebrate each year in remembrance of when the Angel of Death past over the first born of the Jews who were under the blood on the door lintel and posts. (Exodus 12)

After they had eaten of the meal, Jesus then spoke of the fact that one of the twelve would betray Him. It appears that, after Judas had taken the sop and went out, Jesus instituted the ceremony of the memorial of his sacrifice for us to celebrate each year. (John 13)

It was a very simple ceremony, taking the bread and the wine that had been part of the Passover meal and using these to show the importance of the sacrifice that He was about to make. The Apostle Paul writes “For I received from the Lord that which I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which He was betrayed took bread; and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” In the same way He took the cup also after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood; do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.” (1 Corinthians 11:23-25 NASB)

Why do Brethren celebrate it once a year instead of the frequency that many Churches hold communion? The fact that the Passover was celebrated once a year sets the frequency. Christ replaced the lambs that were killed at 3.00pm on the 14th of Nisan for the Passover. He was the Passover Lamb that had been slain before the foundation of the world (Rev 13:8), and it was at 3.00pm on the 14thof Nisan that He died on the cross.

The early Church celebrated the Memorial of His death once a year. However, they celebrated the resurrection of Christ on the first day of the week when they came together to break bread. (Acts 2:42, 46 and 20:7,11) They were celebrating the fact that Jehovah had accepted Christ’s sacrifice by raising Him from the dead. The Apostle Paul states “and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” (1 Corinthians 15:17 NASB)

In no way do we condemn those who celebrate communion more regularly, but the frequency can risk the solemnity of the occasion. The Jews today still place great importance on celebrating the Passover, but it is only once a year and they take time to reflect on the reason for the Passover. We too should prepare ourselves to be sure that we understand the importance of the Memorial of Jesus’s death. (Excerpts from www.australianbiblestudents.org)

Rewriting our Negative Memories and Thoughts Psalm 19:14

Rewriting our Negative Memories and Thoughts Psalm 19:14

A Testimony

Possibilities for an arsenal of Truth and Promises that help us to be armed in the places of vulnerability.

When we fear:

Isaiah 43:1-2    “When you pass (cross over, transition) through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you.  When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you.  For I am the LORD you God, The Holy One of Israel, your Savior…”  He is with us in each experience and He intends the obstacles to be a transition to bring us spiritual deliverance.  He is already there, our companion through transitional challenge, and we must rivet our minds on this fact.

There is so much power in declaring this Truth:  I know you are with me in these transition-challenges.  I know these experiences are meant to transition me forward.  I know I am protected and empowered to go through them.  Thank you for the honor of walking with me so that I can cross over.

2 Timothy 1:7  “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power (force or ability) love (agape) ad of a sound mind (discipline, ie self control).”   When we are in fear, and we doubt our ability, we need to claim HIS Ability, the influence of His committed love and the influence of a balanced mind of discipline.  The spirit of power gives us the ability to say YES I will do this because  You have led me to it, even if I don’t know how, because I can depend on Your leading and strength.

 When we resist the experience:  Romans 12:2  The purpose of renewal of our minds is that we may prove, “to test, prove, with the expectation of approving” (Vines) what the will of God is, It is getting to the point of agreeing with God that His will is:

Good (Beneficial in its effect) I value the gift despite the packaging!

Acceptable (well pleasing):  I fully surrender to this gift, I will not resist the experience.

And perfect (complete).  I trust this as necessary to my complete sanctification.

Ephesians 2:10  “For we are His Workmanship, (not as a result of works, verse 9) created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”  Approve of the process He uses!  We are HIS workmanship!   So we can be brutally honest and not be discouraged once we learn the truth about ourselves.

When we feel burdened:  Matthew 11:38-30  “Come to me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart; and you shall find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my load is light.” A yoke redistributes the weight so that the burden is easier to carry or pull.  Redistribution of the weight took place through Jesus attitude toward serving His Heavenly Father.  When we adopt Jesus attitude of consecration the toil of overburden is transformed into rest.

            I Delight to do Thy will, O my God…  Psalm 40:6-8

            I choose to drink this cup regardless of the cost, for My Father poured it.  John 18:11

            For the joy set before me I choose to endure this experience.  Hebrews 12:2

Healing the Root of Fear

Fear

Joy wrote: “Here are some steps that are helpful in dealing with fear:

 Confess it before Him in confidence:  Bring the thoughts and feelings to the LORD claiming our standing of innocence in Christ, and in full assurance that our Heavenly Father and our Lord Jesus understand.

1 John 1:9;  Psalm 139:1-6; Psalm 103:14

Realize what we mislay when we focus on fear:  we hide the Greatness of Divine Deliverance, Unfathomable Love and Wisdom from ourselves!  Isaiah 51:13

Ask to see the situation or the person from Divine perspective.  2 Corinthians 10:5

Cut the Invincible Appearance of Impossible down to size!

God likens the fear of Israel of their oppressors to the Red Sea deliverance, reminding Israel of the role of Moses and the power of God in their crossing over.  Isaiah 51:9-11  This is also a picture of Kingdom deliverance for the whole world of mankind!  Think of the appearance of impossibility.  Then think of the Deliverance of God and Christ that defies what seems impossible!!

 What is the Red Sea and the fierce armies of Egypt to the God who created the heavens and earth?  Quite easily manageable!

Wake up to the Reality of God and Christ and go forward.

“Awake, awake, put on strength. O arm of the LORD…”  Isaiah 51:9

Wake up to the truth of Who I am on your behalf, and the deliverance I bring you through Christ… Realizing this,  clothe your mind with strength, not fear!  “

 

Precious in the Sight of the LORD

When we see what makes our life in Christ so precious to our Heavenly Father we get an insight into What makes life so precious?

The privilege of fulfilling His purpose for our life:

  • to know both the Father and His Son, Philippians 3:10-11
  • to experience the gift of our innocence in Christ—Romans 5:1,2; 8:1-2
  • to glorify Him—Isaiah 43:7
  • to know His people and to love them;   1 John 3:4, 4:11
  • to know His Plan for Deliverance of all people, to live for that cause, and to cherish that Divine Plan and our part in it.  Romans 8:17-21
  • the privilege of accepting and finding joy in the Cup poured for us, a Cup of Deliverance.  Psalm 116:17
  • to know that since we were created for His glory we were created with great capacity to reflect His joy and love and so to live up to that heritage by His Grace.  Ephesians 2:10

Life is precious because all of human life is born with the image of God, and even in the fallen state there is love, there is dignity, there is heroism.  Life is precious because of the potential of each of our human family to discover His purpose and blessing.  Isaiah 14:1-3, 7   People are so precious that He gave His only begotten Son for this Deliverance.  John 3:16

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me;
your love O LORD, endures forever—
do not abandon the works of your hands.”  Psalm 138:8 NIV

The purpose He has planned for the Followers of Christ
and for our whole human family is Precious.

His purpose will be fulfilled , and He will not abandon His workmanship.

Label the Experience as Treasure from the Lord.

“I seek you with all my heart; Do not let me stray from your commands.

I have hidden your word in my heart

That I might not sin against you.”  Psalm 119:10-11

The secret to living the will of God is to hide His word in our hearts.

Proverbs 2:1  “My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee…”

Proverbs 2:1-4 shows us ways that we can hide His commandments, His principles, His will in our hearts:

These verses help us see what it means to hide his commandments:

Proverbs 2: 2  so that thou incline (prick up, hearken) thine ear unto wisdom,

and apply (to stretch or spread out; bend away) thine heart to understanding

Proverbs 2:3  “If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding

Proverbs 2:4  “If thou seekest (to search out; to strive after) her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures…”

“Then you will discern the fear of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God.”  Proverbs 2:5

When confronted with challenging experiences we need to LISTEN ATTENTIVELY,

not to our old thinking and automatic reactions, but to HIS WISDOM.

We need to stretch our affections and our priorities to embrace the intention of His will.

We need to express our desire for His will, in prayer and in communication with others.

When confronted with conflicts and misunderstandings

we need to consider His will and principles as a treasure, as worth great effort to make His will and truth our own.

We need to label the experience as Treasure from the Lord.

“I delight to do Thy will, O my God;

Thy Law is within my heart.”  Psalm 40:8

The Father Himself Loves You (John 16.27)

What a deep interest our Father takes in each of His children: truly it is a personal and peculiar attachment to each member of His family.  Do we not lose much by forgetting this?  Even in human things we are apt overlook it.  We call the feeling which the Father entertains to each of His children, love, and well we call it so, but this is not all.  There is a difference in the love He bears to His eldest and His youngest born, a difference in the case of each, called forth by the peculiar character of each.  It is the minute and special love which is so precious.  Were it not for this we should feel as if we had only a part of our Father’s heart, as if we had not the whole; but realising this we feel as if we had his whole heart, and yet our having the whole did not rob our brothers and sisters of any.  It is with the family as with the sun in the firmament; it is the property of all and yet each has the whole of it.  Even so with Jehovah, our Heavenly Father; His is a special, peculiar, personal love, just if He loved no other but had the whole of His heart to spare for us.  His is a minute and watchful care, bending over each day and night, as if He had no other to care for.  How sweet to think that each of us is the special object of such personal attachment, the peculiar object of such unwearied vigilance.

In time of trouble say:

FIRST: He brought me here–It is by His will I am in this strait (difficult) place; in that will I rest.

NEXT: He will keep me in His Love, and give me grace in this trail to behave as his child.

THEN: He will make the trail a blessing, teaching me the lessons H means me to learn, and working in me grace He intends for me.

LAST: In His good time He can bring me out again, how and when, He knows.

Say:–I am here–by God’s appointment–In God’s keeping–Under His training–For His time.

Published by the Bible Fellowship Union

Living The Dimensions of Love Ephesians 3.16-19

The Dimensions of Love  Ephesians 3.16-19

The LORD has been working on my heart in the struggle to love certain ones in my life in the face of feeling hurt and the stress of all that has happened in our family.

The LORD brought me to Ephesians 3:16-19, AGAIN, as the defining and inspiring vision to reach for when I am worn out of love.  And that is to be immersed in the lengths, breadths, heights and depths of His love, and to be inspired to love others with that love, the love He loves me with so faithfully, and the love with which He loves each one of us so faithfully.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.  And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and log and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

Ephesians 3:16-19  NIV

He loves us with the lengths and breadths and heights and depths of His love:

A love that loves the world.
A love that sees potential and joys to unlock its treasures.
A love that loves me, knowing the dust I am made of, the reality of weakness and the reality of beauty.
A love that will not let me go.
A love that teaches me to not let other people go, seeing the dust they are made of, the reality of weakness and the reality of beauty.
A tenacious love that joys to find ways to bless.

When frustrated it is very powerful to ask:  What would this love say or do in response to this moment of testing?

“God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…”  John 3:16

O LORD empower us to so love the people in our lives and in our world, each in such need of this unfathomable love…

O may we live in the heights and depths, the length and the breadths of this love.