Category Archives: Articles

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.

Power Over the Pit

Power Over the Pit

I cried out to the LORD when I was triggered by intense experiences, which brought me to the slippery slope of self-judgment.
He heard my voice, as I claimed Psalm 40:1-3.
“I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay;
And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.
And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God;
Many will see and fear, and I will trust in the LORD.”

Prayer based on Psalm 40:1-3

I have waited for you LORD, over these years.
And You have consistently heard my prayer.
You brought me up out of a trapped condition that I could not free myself from.
You set my feet upon a rock of stability, and gave me a place to stand.
You put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God, the One who is Mighty
on our behalf and on behalf of each one of our spiritual family.

I wait for you now, LORD.
I know you hear me.
You understand the pit of shame and fear I fall into.
I cannot free myself, it’s wall are slick and I have no place to stand in this slippery mud.
But again you free me.  You set my feet on the stability and strength of Christ.
In him I have a place to stand.  I stand in his innocence.
I stand with a new song in my mouth,
a song that praises Your Love and Strength and Power in my life
and in the lives of all Your Children throughout this world.

The Mind of Christ as Revealed on the Cross

The lessons from Jesus “Seven Words on the Cross” could well be characterized by Philippians 2:5:  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians. 2:5) R 2474  (Thought from the Brethren from Clearwater Florida class, 2001)  The mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5-8) is revealed to us in the words and actions of Jesus throughout his earthly ministry.  There are especially poignant lessons about the mind of Christ as we meditate on the words that he spoke on the cross.

“Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”  Luke 23:34       

“…While not in the oldest manuscripts, these words, undoubtedly represent our Lord’s sentiments.”

The mind of Christ knows the role of ignorance and blindness in the actions and reactions of humanity.  The mind of Christ sought the Mind of the Father, and fulfilled His way of freeing people from their ignorance and blindness.  Jesus became the sacrifice necessary for all to receive blessing: for some to receive a higher calling now, and for the rest of humanity to receive an earthly resurrection opportunity for true freedom in the Kingdom.   1 Corinthians 15:22-25 The freedom from ignorance and blindness for our human family will be accomplished through piercing truths unquestionably revealed during the Kingdom on earth, which first provide the space to be transformed in thought and perception and then provide the space to realign allegiance and passion of life to him.  Zechariah 12:9-14; 13:1-2; .Jeremiah 31:31-34; Philippians 2:8-11  The mind of Christ led Jesus to fulfill the Father’s will for these blessings even at the point of greatest pain and humiliation.

…Let us not forget to keep in touch with the groaning creation; to sympathize with its sorrows and its woes; to realize its deep degradation and misery; to remember its frailties, its awful burden of hereditary taints and consequent weaknesses; its present environments of ignorance and superstition; and its long established errors of public sentiment….  And as the cries of the groaning creation come up into the ears of the Lord of hosts (James 5:4) with strong and pathetic pleading to his loving heart, so let them come into our ears and gain our sympathies, and quicken our zeal to co-operate with our Heavenly Father’s plan for the establishment of his Kingdom of righteousness and peace.  R3067  2 Corinthians 4:4

O may we have the mind of Christ that seeks for a way to bless in the midst of harsh treatment and that holds fast to this Kingdom hope as one of the joys set before us that empowers us to endure all that His wisdom requires.

“I say to you today,”;  in that present moment of time on the cross, of deepest despair when all seemed dark and hopeless, “you shall be with me in Paradise.”;  Luke 23:43  The mind of Christ kept the vision of the Kingdom blessing real and vibrant.    In the midst of his deep agony he was ready to share this hope with a criminal who hung on a cross beside him.

Regardless of the darkness of our time, or our experience, may the mind of Christ triumph with the truth of His silently unfolding blessing, and may we have the courage and strength to share this truth.

“Woman, behold thy son! … Behold thy mother.”  John 19:26-27

The mind of Christ knows the power of close and intimate relationships.  He knew the depth of grief as well as the tenderness of his mother’s heart.  He knew the passion and devotion of John, the Son of Thunder.  He knew the power of connecting these two people in their need and in their strengths.  He would express his love for his mother through John, giving her another son to love and to provide for her continued life as a widow.  And he would express his love for his disciple John by giving him a mother, someone who could ground his passion and deepen his love.  He provides for the need by providing the relationship needed.  He provided companionship and intimate help at a time when he received no tangible help.

In the midst of our own challenge may we be a mother, or a son to one another, or empower one another to do so, expressing through the mind of Christ in us, his love as we become his heart, his hands, his feet to one another.