Etikettarkiv | pray

Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter Matt. 24:20

Matt. 24Prayers make a difference

The first time we can read about people praying to God in the Bible (rather than having a conversation with him in person) is in Gen 4:26:

Gen. 4:26 And to Seth, to him also there was born a son; and he called his name Enos: then began men to call upon the name of the Lord.

Reformed Christians might pray just as much as other Christians, but the question is why they make this effort considering that they also believe that we are not able to thwart God’s predestined plans no matter what we do (as per Calvinism). They might reply that they pray because God tells them to do so, but what would be the difference if they did not? If all things pan out exactly as God wants, surely we can afford to be extremely relaxed when it comes to praying?

See the verses below. If we are able to cause the preferred season thanks to our prayers, then maybe we are able to influence people to have an open heart for the gospel as well? (Meaning; people are not predestined to be saved or damned from the foundation of the world.) Apparently God has not yet decided which season of the year the flight in question will take place, because Jesus asks us to pray about it. This is evidence that all things are not written in stone, and that we can affect things with our prayers. If we have an active prayer life, we will be stronger spiritually and will be better equipped to escape (and/or endure) hardship which will come to pass in the future:

Matt. 24:15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:—20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day

Luke 21:34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.

We can pray that we will not enter into temptation, and we will become stronger spiritually if we pray. This is something that we are supposed to do, rather than placing the responsibility on God. Combining prayers with fasting is a good advice, which can also be done alone. However, Paul tells married couples to be united again so that Satan will not be able to tempt them. Again, this is something we are expected to do in order to affect our mind-set and the future.

Matt. 26:41 Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

1 Cor. 7:5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.

We can pray that God will send workers for the great harvest, which means that we can influence both people and God with our prayers:

 Matt. 9:37 Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few;38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.

Speaking in tongues is something we should be eager to do (and do not let anyone tell you something else), but it is even better to be able to interpret the tongues. Speaking in tongues is one spiritual gift, and interpreting tongues is another separate one. The best combination is to have both gifts, because then we are able to edify even more people than just ourselves. We can pray about it!:

1 Cor. 14:13 Wherefore let him that speaketh in an unknown tongue pray that he may interpret.

When we pray, it helps if we believe that God can hear our prayers and that we are able to achieve what we pray and strive for (even if other elements are also involved). Our own faith can affect the outcome, and God will hear the prayer of the righteous. If we live in unrepentant sin, however, it is not certain that God will hear our prayers:

Mark. 11:24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

1 Tim. 2:8 I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

Mark. 5:33 But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth.34 And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.

Prov. 15:29 The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.

Prov. 28:9 He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination .

Dan. 9:4 And I prayed unto the Lord my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

praying 4When Jesus became man in flesh, he prayed/communicated with his Father God just like we pray to God. Also Jesus can affect things thanks to prayer/communication, which of course is obvious since the whole world was created thanks to the divine words ”Let there be light”:

Luke 6:12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles

Jesus shows through a parable, that we can definitely affect God with our prayers. Even someone who does not fear God might very well adhere to constant pleadings. This does not mean that God will not listen to us the first time but requires constant pleadings before he does, but the point is that even a bad person might eventually give in for constant crying and pleadings, so would not our Father in heaven even more pay attention to his children’s urgent prayers?:

Luke 18:1 And he spake a parable unto them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint;2 Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man:3 And there was a widow in that city; and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary.4 And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man;5 Yet because this widow troubleth me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.6 And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge saith.7 And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night unto him, though he bear long with them?8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?

Jesus taught us how to pray, and he gave us an example. We can pray for the outcome of things, we can give thanks for what we already have (regular food), etc. We can also pray that his will shall be done, which indicates that it is not certain that the best option for all mankind or individuals will always take place. Praying is therefore important tool. Notice the moral sense: If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?”

Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.3 Give us day by day our daily bread.4 And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.5 And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?7 And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?12 Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

Paul constantly prayed for others, and wanted to be prayed for himself. This is because he knew that prayers can influence things for the better:

Rom. 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers

2 Cor. 13:7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates.

Rom. 15:30 Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in your prayers to God for me;31 That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints;32 That I may come unto you with joy by the will of God, and may with you be refreshed.

Phil. 1:18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.19 For I know that this shall turn to my salvation through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ,

2 Cor. 1:11 Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift bestowed upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.

2 Thess. 3:1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:

Col. 4:Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:— 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

2 Cor. 8:4 Praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.

1 Thess. 3:10 Night and day praying exceedingly that we might see your face, and might perfect that which is lacking in your faith?

2 Thess. 1:11 Wherefore also we pray always for you, that our God would count you worthy of this calling, and fulfil all the good pleasure of his goodness, and the work of faith with power:

2 Tim. 4:16 At my first answer no man stood with me, but all men forsook me: I pray God that it may not be laid to their charge.

Philemon 1:22 But withal prepare me also a lodging: for I trust that through your prayers I shall be given unto you.

We can pray that people will receive the Holy Ghost:

Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:

As believers we can pray that people can get healed. All people will not get healed all the time and live forever (Lazarus, who came back to life thanks to Jesus, eventually died), but if you for instance check the mission by TLR and Torben Søndergaard, Christians indeed have been given the power to heal in the name of Jesus:  

Acts 28:8 And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay sick of a fever and of a bloody flux: to whom Paul entered in, and prayed, and laid his hands on him, and healed him.

Ja. 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

You cannot expect to fall in a miraculous trance or see visions, unless you spend time in prayer (like Peter, John, Daniel, etc):

praying kidActs 22:17 And it came to pass, that, when I was come again to Jerusalem, even while I prayed in the temple, I was in a trance

The prayers from righteous believers can be seen together with the smoke of incense before God:

Rev. 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.5 And the angel took the censer, and filled it with fire of the altar, and cast it into the earth: and there were voices, and thunderings, and lightnings, and an earthquake.

1 Pet. 3:12 For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.

God heard the prayers of Zacharia:

Luke 1:5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.—13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

Cornelius was a righteous God-fearing man, and before he received the holy Ghost, God heard his prayers and saw his works:

Acts 10:30 And Cornelius said, Four days ago I was fasting until this hour; and at the ninth hour I prayed in my house, and, behold, a man stood before me in bright clothing,31 And said, Cornelius, thy prayer is heard, and thine alms are had in remembrance in the sight of God.

God heard the prayers of Hezekiah and saw his tears. He gave him support and added 15 more years to his life time:

2 King. 20:5 Turn again, and tell Hezekiah the captain of my people, Thus saith the Lord, the God of David thy father, I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears: behold, I will heal thee: on the third day thou shalt go up unto the house of the Lord.6 And I will add unto thy days fifteen years; and I will deliver thee and this city out of the hand of the king of Assyria; and I will defend this city for mine own sake, and for my servant David’s sake.

We can learn a lot from the book of Jonah when it comes to prayer. Even the pagan mariners understood that it was a good idea to pray to God during times of trouble, and  the they and Jonah alike understood that this particular problem occurred due to Jonah’s resistance to God. God has prepared a big fish to swallow up Jonah, but God also heard Jonah’s prayer from the belly of the fish and helped him out. The king of Nineveh also understood the power of prayers, fasting and the importance of a sincere repentance. The attitude of the inhabitants of Nineveh made God change his mind, and he decided to not do what he had previously said he would:

Jonah 1:6 So the shipmaster came to him, and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? arise, call upon thy God, if so be that God will think upon us, that we perish not.7 And they said every one to his fellow, Come, and let us cast lots, that we may know for whose cause this evil is upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah.8 Then said they unto him, Tell us, we pray thee, for whose cause this evil is upon us; What is thine occupation? and whence comest thou? what is thy country? and of what people art thou?9 And he said unto them, I am an Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of heaven, which hath made the sea and the dry land.10 Then were the men exceedingly afraid, and said unto him. Why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled from the presence of the Lord, because he had told them.11 Then said they unto him, What shall we do unto thee, that the sea may be calm unto us? for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous.12 And he said unto them, Take me up, and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: for I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you.13 Nevertheless the men rowed hard to bring it to the land; but they could not: for the sea wrought, and was tempestuous against them.14 Wherefore they cried unto the Lord, and said, We beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this man’s life, and lay not upon us innocent blood: for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee.15 So they took up Jonah, and cast him forth into the sea: and the sea ceased from her raging.16 Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered a sacrifice unto the Lord, and made vows.17 Now the Lord had prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Jonah 2:1 Then Jonah prayed unto the Lord his God out of the fish’s belly,And said, I cried by reason of mine affliction unto the Lord, and he heard me; out of the belly of hell cried I, and thou heardest my voice.

Jonah 3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered him with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he caused it to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands.Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?10 And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.

Below an important secret is revealed. We are able to take on the full armour of God – praying included – and this will make our spirits stronger. Notice also that Daniel through fasting and prayers received a special revelation, and how the angel explained to him that although his prayers were heard the first day, the prince of Persia (among the rulers of the darkness of this world …) withstood him for some time. This means that we should not give up since we are not wrestling against flesh and blood but against  invisible powers:

Eph. 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel

Dan. 10:2 In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks.I ate no pleasant bread, neither came flesh nor wine in my mouth, neither did I anoint myself at all, till three whole weeks were fulfilled.—11 And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling.12 Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words.13 But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia.14 Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days

Jesus was constantly worshiped, and told us to worship and serve only GOD

worshipWe are not supposed to translate ”proskyneó” in different ways depending on the person it’s related to

The English word ”worship” is translated from the Greek word proskyneó (Strong’s 4352). Even if ”worship” is the most common translation, it can also hold the meaning of bowing down for someone in order to express profound reverence, and/or perhaps to make supplication before a person with power and authority (like an ancient King) or to make a plea. In the New Testament we can see that this word is used for God, Jesus (who is God) and false gods.

It would be dishonest to translate the word with ”worship” whenever it’s about God (the Father), and ”to bow down to”, whenever it’s about the son.That would just be evidence of that the translater has made up his mind in advance to manipulate the text to get the desired result. There is no grammatical rule that says that we should translate the word in such a way, so this means that there must be another reason for doing so (namely to prevent the text from saying that Jesus is God and worthy to be worshiped as God).

KJV translates the word to: worship (60 times).

NASB translates the word to: worship (32), worshiped (17), worshipers (1), worshiping (1), worships (1), bow down (1), bow down before (1), bowed down (1), bowed down before (2), bowing before (1), bowing down (1), prostrated himself before (1)

”Proskyneó” is used 55 times in the Jehova’s witnesses English Bible (The New World Translation), but despite that fact that the word is used in reference to Jesus in over 25% of the times, this word is never translated to ”worship” in any of those cases! However, if the word is used in relation to the devil, demons and false gods  the word is translated to ”worship” (apart from being  used for Jehova).  This is not sound hermeneutics, but clearly an attempt to avoid the undesired result of seeing Jesus being worshiped.

”Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”

When the devil suggested that Jesus should worship him, Jesus replied that ”thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve”. This certainly doesn’t sound like Jesus gives room for the possibility to worship also other beings. It rather sounds as though he is saying that God is the only one we should worship because we are to be his servants alone. Satan didn’t respond back to Jesus: ”Ok, you say you shall worship the Lord, and that’s fine, but how about worshiping also me? What’s wrong with worshiping (proskyneó) a bunch of different people or beings?”. Jesus already took care of that thought when he explained that it’s the LORD we should worship and serve him only. 

Matt. 4:9 And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and WORSHIP me.10 

Luke 4:8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

When Jesus says ”It is written”, he is referring to the below commandment from God during the time of Moses, where worshiping is in reference to God.

Deut. 6:13 Thou shalt fear the Lord thy God, and serve him, and shalt swear by his name.14 Ye shall not go after other gods, of the gods of the people which are round about you;15 (For the Lord thy God is a jealous God among you) lest the anger of the Lord thy God be kindled against thee, and destroy thee from off the face of the earth.

In the old testament naturally ”worshiping” is used loads of times in relation to God (from Hebrew), with repeated warnings to the Israelites to not worship other gods. ”Worshiping” and ”serving” are often used together, and whether used together or separately they are strongly connected to GOD.

Ex. 34:14 For thou shalt worship no other god: for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God:

Deut. 30:17 But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear, but shalt be drawn away, and worship other gods, and serve them;

Daniel 3:14 Nebuchadnezzar spake and said unto them, Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, do not ye serve my gods, nor worship the golden image which I have set up?—Then Nebuchadnezzar spake, and said, Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, who hath sent his angel, and delivered his servants that trusted in him, and have changed the king’s word, and yielded their bodies, that they might not serve nor worship any god, except their own God.

Acts 7:41 And they made a calf in those days, and offered sacrifice unto the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.42 Then God turned, and gave them up to worship the host of heaven; as it is written in the book of the prophets, O ye house of Israel, have ye offered to me slain beasts and sacrifices by the space of forty years in the wilderness?43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

We are supposed to worship HIM that made the heaven and earth, and sea. Who is that? God (Yahweh) is naturally said to have done all that (and no one was with him) and Jesus as well. The only way to make sense of this is to accept the clear Biblical teaching that Jesus is God.

Rev. 14:6 And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people,7 Saying with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come: and WORSHIP HIM THAT MADE HEAVEN, AND EARTH, and the sea, and the fountains of waters

Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:

Col. 1:16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created BY HIM, and for him:17 And he is BEFORE ALL THINGS, and by him all things consist.18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence.19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell

Anti-Trinitarian might suggest that Jesus wouldn’t be worshiping a God if he is God himself, but this means they have not understood the classical trinity. Jesus was also man like us, and as man he communicated with his Father (part of the same trinity) through prayers and worship. Do read my article about Jesus free will subordination to his Father when he (Jesus) became man.

John. 17:5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee BEFORE the world was.— 24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me BEFORE the foundation of the world.

To worship other human beings – or other beings/things – is to break the first commandment

Acts  7:43 Yea, ye took up the tabernacle of Moloch, and the star of your god Remphan, figures which ye made to worship them: and I will carry you away beyond Babylon.

Rev. 9:20 And the rest of the men which were not killed by these plagues yet repented not of the works of their hands, that they should not worship devils, and idols of gold, and silver, and brass, and stone, and of wood: which neither can see, nor hear, nor walk:

Rev. 16:2 And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.

Rev. 19: 20 And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. 

Bible verses where we can see Jesus being worshipedworship 4

Jesus had all chances in the world to correct at least one of the multiple people who worshiped him in the NT (taking glory away from God?), but he never once stopped anyone from doing so. Wouldn’t it be a good idea to teach confused Bible readers that they are wrong for believing Jesus is God even though his own Father calls him God in Hebr. 1:8? He could easily have said to someone: ”Hey, worship GOD instead of me. It’s better that you focus on the Creator when it comes to worshiping, or else people might start believing that I’m God too and just as powerful”. Maybe we can so often read about Jesus being God and being worshiped, precisely because he is God and part of the trinity? If we consider the fact that Jesus was a man who taught us that we should worship and serve God alone, he lets himself be worshiped an awful lot! Just read the verses further down below. Was Jesus a blasphemer and a liar when he spoke to the devil in the desert, or is Jesus in fact GOD? I believe the latter.

The wise men worshiped Jesus, which was a smart thing to do because this child was to be called ”Mighty God” among other glorious names. A little child would not be able to realize that someone is bowing down to show him honor, but if he is a deity, it would make sense to worship him regardless of his age.

Matt. 2:2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. —7 Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, enquired of them diligently what time the star appeared.8 And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also.—.11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.

Isa. 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The MIGHTY GOD, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isa. 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. (Immanuel = God with us)

Other verses in the Bible that shows Jesus being worshiped:

Matt. 9:18 While he spake these things unto them, behold, there came a certain ruler, and worshipped him, saying, My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay thy hand upon her, and she shall live.19 And Jesus arose, and followed him, and so did his disciples.

Matt. 14:33 Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God.

Matt. 28:9 And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.10 Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.

Matt. 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

Mark 5:6 But when he saw Jesus afar off, he ran and worshipped him,7 And cried with a loud voice, and said, What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of the most high God? I adjure thee by God, that thou torment me not

Matt. 8:2 And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean.

Matt. 15:24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.

Matt. 20:20 Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshipping him, and desiring a certain thing of him.21 And he said unto her, What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.

Luke 24:50 And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.52 And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:

John 9:35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when he had found him, he said unto him, Dost thou believe on the Son of God?36 He answered and said, Who is he, Lord, that I might believe on him?37 And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast both seen him, and it is he that talketh with thee.38 And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped him.

Hebr. 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Rev. 5:8 And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints.—13 And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.14 And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

Rev. 15:4 Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for thou only art holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest.

lammOther verses where the same Greek word is translated with ”worship” 

The Samarian woman and Jesus are discussing the proper place to worship, so apparently proskyneó is normally viewed as ”worshiping God” rather than just bowing down to honor someone. Jesus mentions that the Samarians are worshiping what they don’t know – which would be an odd thing to say if the Samarians normally bowed down and honored people they don’t know. It is possible, however, for heathens to worship a Creator that they really don’t know. Jesus also emphasizes the importance of worshiping (the Father) in spirit and in truth, which would also be an unusual thing to say if proskyneó concerns bowing down and honor mere mortal men.

John 4:19 The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet.20 Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.21 Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father.22 Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews.23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.24 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.25 The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things.26 Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he.

Surely the goal with feasts isn’t to bow down to people and honor them?

Acts 8:27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship ( + Acts 24:11)

John 12:20 And there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast:

Rev. 11:1 And there was given me a reed like unto a rod: and the angel stood, saying, Rise, and measure the temple of God, and the altar, and them that worship therein.

1 Cor. 14:24 But if all prophesy, and there come in one that believeth not, or one unlearned, he is convinced of all, he is judged of all:25 And thus are the secrets of his heart made manifest; and so falling down on his face he will worship God, and report that God is in you of a truth.

Hebr. 11: 21 By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

Matt. 18:25 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. (A parable where the King is a picture of God the Father).

Rev. 4:And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever,10 The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying,11 Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.

Rev. 7: 9 After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;10 And cried with a loud voice, saying, Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb.11 And all the angels stood round about the throne, and about the elders and the four beasts, and fell before the throne on their faces, and worshipped God,—14 And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.15 Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.17 For the Lamb which is in the midst of the throne shall feed them, and shall lead them unto living fountains of waters: and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes.

The reason given for worshiping him on the throne is due to him being the Creator of all things. We have already established that Jesus (as well as his Father) fits this description. Who is further living for ever and ever? Jesus is said to live for ever and ever. Compare:

Hebr. 1:8 But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.9 Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.10 And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands:11 They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment;12 And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.

Rev. 1:7 Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even so, Amen.8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the isle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet,11 Saying, I am Alpha and Omega, the first and the last: —12 And I turned to see the voice that spake with me. And being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks;13 And in the midst of the seven candlesticks one like unto the Son of man, clothed with a garment down to the foot, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle.—17 And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:18 I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.

Rev. 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.16 And the four and twenty elders, which sat before God on their seats, fell upon their faces, and worshipped God,17 Saying, We give thee thanks, O Lord God Almighty, which art, and wast, and art to come; because thou hast taken to thee thy great power, and hast reigned.

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I AM HE he, ye shall die in your sins.25 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.

The apostle Peter and the Angel who spoke with John, refused to be worshiped

If someone would fall down before our feet and and start worshiping us, the normal thing to do would be to worship 3ask the person to please rise up immediately – unless we’re God…That’s exactly what the apostle Peter and the Angel in Revelations did. As a reason Peter said ”stand up, I myself also am a man”, and the Angel said ”See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant,—WORSHIP GOD”. So it’s not enough to be a disciple of Jesus, an apostle, a righteous servant or a prophet, because it would be wrong to be ”worshiped” anyway. We should worship GOD, says the Angel Gabriel.

Acts 10:25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.26 But Peter took him up, saying, STAND UP; I MYSELF ALSO AM A MAN.

Rev. 22:8 And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel which shewed me these things.9 Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not: for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book: WORSHIP GOD.

Rev. 19:10 And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See THOU DO IT NOT: I AM THY FELLOWSERVANT, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.

If it’s not a big deal to be ”worshiped” (someone bowing down to them to give honor), Jesus, Peter and the Angel Gabriel were not aware of it.

Hebr. 1:6 And again, when he bringeth in the firstbegotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.

Also the Watchtower (the JW:s newspaper) acknowledged in a very early newspaper number that Jesus was being worshiped, even if they incorrectly suggested he is only one God among many.

”The fact that our Lord received worship is claimed by some to be an evidence that while on earth he was God the Father disguised in a body of flesh and not really a man. Was he really worshiped, or is the translation faulty? Yes we believe our Lord Jesus while on earth was really worshiped, and properly so. While he was not the God, Jehovah, he was a God. The word ‘God’ signifies a ‘mighty one,’ and our Lord was indeed a mighty one. So it is stated in the first two verses of the gospel of John. It was proper for our Lord to receive worship in view of his having been the only begotten of the Father. . .” (The Watchtower, July 15, 1898, p. 216.)

The below verse (1 Chron. 29:20) is sometimes used by Jehovah’s Witnesses to minimize the importance of Jesus being worshiped throughout the New Testament, despite that he informed the devil that we should worship GOD and serve him only.

1 Chron 29:20 And David said to all the congregation, Now bless the Lord your God. And all the congregation blessed the Lord God of their fathers, and bowed down their heads, and worshipped the Lord, and the king.21 And they sacrificed sacrifices unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings unto the Lord, on the morrow after that day, even a thousand bullocks, a thousand rams, and a thousand lambs, with their drink offerings, and sacrifices in abundance for all Israel:22 And did eat and drink before the Lord on that day with great gladness. And they made Solomon the son of David king the second time, and anointed him unto the Lord to be the chief governor, and Zadok to be priest.

Obviously King David was of the opinion that it would be wrong to break the first commandment by placing other human beings on par with God – much less himself. However, nothing is wrong with a congregation that worships the LORD (not David), and that also takes the chance to show appreciation and honor also king David. The case could be that it’s about divine worship of the Lord and civil homage for the King. There was no rule that they had to separate their actions by first allotting some time to worship God, and then in union cease worshiping God and proceed to the next step on their agenda – which would be honoring their king. It’s possible to do both at the same time.

If people were chosen to be non-elect, why did Paul CRY for them?

paulIf TULIP and the Westminster Confession of Faith is true, and the idea that God chose who to save before the foundation of the world (choosing individuals to be either elect and able to believe in him, or non-elect and unable to believe in him), then the apostle Paul’s huge concern (and crying) for unbelievers is a huge mystery.

WCF: ch. III. By the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory, some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting life; and others foreordained to everlasting death.

WCF: ch. V. Those of mankind that are predestinated unto lifeGod, before the foundation of the world was laid, according to His eternal and immutable purpose, and the secret counsel and good pleasure of His will, has chosen, in Christ, unto everlasting glory

Why does Paul spend so much time praying and crying about the lost state of people’s souls, and why discussing and pleading with them – for hours at a time? Is it ”because God told him to, and because Paul doesn’t know who the elect individuals are”? But that doesn’t solve the puzzle.

  • God didn’t tell him to cry, did he? This seems to be something that Paul himself chose to do.
  • What would be the reason for shedding tears? Doesn’t God’s will always happen? Will the elect not end up in heaven as God has planned, and will the non-elect not end up in hell according to his plans? If all things turn out according to plans, WHY CRY? Why trying to interfere?
  • If the destination of all people is already settled (before the foundation of the world), why would Paul want to thwart God’s plans? Why trying to persuade non-elect to be elect? Is that even possible?
  • Why does Paul preach ”repent or perish”, as though he doesn’t know that the elect can’t perish, and the non-elect can’t repent?
  • The L in TULIP means ”Limited Atonement”, and that means that Jesus didn’t die for the non-elect, which means that they are not able to be saved and God doesn’t want them to be saved (or else he would arrange so that Jesus would have died for them too). Since it’s not possible to be saved without the blood of Jesus, why would Paul waste his time crying about people who God never intended to save in the first place? And why would he cry for the others – the elect? THEY ARE ALREADY SAVED! And they can never be lost.
  • If Paul instead would save all his tears and only spend 5 minutes a month to evangelize, WHAT WOULD BE THE BIG DIFFERENCE?
  • Why does Paul say: ”how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:14). Doesn’t he know that no one needs any preachers or to hear about Jesus Christ, since everyone has been selected for heaven or hell before the foundation of the world?
  • If Paul desires more people than the elect to be saved, doesn’t this mean that Paul has a greater love for lost souls than God? Isn’t it also scary that many atheists would gladly give up their lives for the sake of their children, and that God wouldn’t do the same? Wouldn’t this indicate that many atheists have a greater love for people than God himself? ”Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13)
  • Why putting so much effort into something that is a lost course from the start? If God chose people to be non-elect, why not leave it at that?
  • Paul seems to have a huge desire to encourage non-elect to be elect, but he doesn’t have an equal desire to transform the elect into non-elect? Why even picking sides (one over the other) if God is the one who decides who to save and who to damn – not based on anything they have done? Isn’t God’s decision the wisest?
  • Why does Paul try to change the ”salvation ratio” that God has already decided upon? If God for instance has decided to save 30% of all people and damn 70%, why does Paul try to amend these numbers which were written in stone before the foundation of the world? Isn’t Paul pleased with the numbers that his Master so carefully has thought out?
  • Wouldn’t Paul’s tears be the same as criticism towards God – who apparently doesn’t want to save as many people as Paul does?

In Acts 20, we can read about Paul preaching for many hours at a time, despite that nothing would change if he only spent 5 minutes. In fact, he spoke for such a long time that one fellow (Eutychus) fell down from a window and died – but Paul prayed for him and he returned back to life. In the same chapter we can read about Paul shedding many tears while he was serving the Lord, and Paul preached repentance and the need for faith toward Jesus Christ – both to jews and gentiles.

Acts. 20:16 For Paul had determined to sail by Ephesus, because he would not spend the time in Asia: for he hasted, if it were possible for him, to be at Jerusalem the day of Pentecost.17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.18 And when they were come to him, he said unto them, Ye know, from the first day that I came into Asia, after what manner I have been with you at all seasons,19 Serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and WITH MANY TEARS, and temptations, which befell me by the lying in wait of the Jews:20 And how I kept back nothing that was profitable unto you, but have shewed you, and have taught you publicly, and from house to house,21 Testifying both to the Jews, and also to the Greeks, repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul continues to warn people, and ask them to take heed of themselves – as though things might not go according to God’s plans. He also tells them to take heed TO ALL THE FLOCK, which is the same as the church of God which Jesus has purchased with his blood. If the flock could never be lost, it wouldn’t make sense for Paul to warn people to take heed of the flock. Paul knows that not all of the flock of true christians will be spared, because he says that grievous wolves will enter in among them to draw away people, and there will also be false preachers among themselves. Since Paul knows how the devil works, and also how man works – how they ”after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers” (2 Tim. 4:3), he also knows that some christians will be walking away from God. Therefore we can read that ”BY THE SPACE OF THREE YEARS I CEASED NOT TO WARN EVERY ONE NIGHT AND DAY WITH TEARS”. Paul seems to believe that his warnings and urgent prayers can make a huge difference and change the outcome of things! He doesn’t have the approach ”I know that what I do or say won’t change a thing since everything is already written in stone, but I suppose I will pray a few times anyway since God – for some unknown reason – told me to do it”.

Acts. 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.27 For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.31 Therefore watch, and remember, that BY THE SPACE OF THREE YEARS I CEASED NOT TO WARN EVERY ONE NIGHT AND DAY WITH TEARS  

2 Tim.4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

Paul gave the Corinthians advice concerning a certain man who had sinned and been punished. Each time we read a warning and ”lest”, it means that the outcome depends on people’s actions. Paul knows that Satan might gain an advantage over us, unless we are obedient to God.

2 Cor. 2:4 For out of much affliction and anguish of heart I wrote unto you with many tears; not that ye should be grieved, but that ye might know the love which I have more abundantly unto you.5 But if any have caused grief, he hath not grieved me, but in part: that I may not overcharge you all.6 Sufficient to such a man is this punishment, which was inflicted of many.7 So that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow.8 Wherefore I beseech you that ye would confirm your love toward him.9 For to this end also did I write, that I might know the proof of you, whether ye be obedient in all things.10 To whom ye forgive any thing, I forgive also: for if I forgave any thing, to whom I forgave it, for your sakes forgave I it in the person of Christ;11 Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.

Paul has great concern about people who are enemies of the cross of Christ, and whose end is destruction! Why, if God has closed the door for them and refuses to open their eyes so that they can believe in him and walk in his ways? Maybe because their destination is NOT predestined, and maybe because TULIP is a false philosophy based on a gnostic foundation?

Phil. 3:17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even WEEPING, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. (NKJV)

Paul doesn’t make any sense at all in Romans 9 (if TULIP is true). Paul is talking about all jews (all of Israel), and he says he wishes that he was accursed and separated from God for their sake – if he could only see them saved. That’s a lot of unselfish love! Why, if God has already arranged the final destination for their souls, and has everything under control? Things couldn’t possibly go wrong, and Paul has no business showing so much love for people who are predestined for hell. Paul says that the right to be adopted as sons belongs to the Israelites (and not only to them), but this doesn’t mean they are automatically saved. Only those who have faith like Abraham, and who have a circumcised heart, will be saved.

Rom.9:1 I am telling the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience testifies with me in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and unceasing grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed, separated from Christ for the sake of my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom belongs the adoption as sons, and the glory and the covenants and the giving of the Law and the temple service and the promises, 5 whose are the fathers, and from whom is the Christ according to the flesh, who is over all, God blessed forever. Amen. (NASB)

Also many atheists would gladly give up their lives if they could only save their children (whether the children are good or bad), and our Lord wouldn’t do the same for the people of the world? Do atheists have a greater love for their children, than God has for the same children?

Jesus cried as well – doesn’t things go as planned?tears

It wouldn’t make sense for God to predestine things that made Jesus troubled. Jesus was affected by other people’s reactions, and thew news about his friend Lazarus.

John 11:32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.

Prophets have been sent out to people by God throughout all ages, but these prophets have not always been treated nicely by others. Things don’t always turn out the way God wants, and that’s due to our free will.

Matt. 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT!

Certain women wept when they saw Jesus carrying his cross. Jesus was of course not angry that they wept for him, but he advised them to rather weep for themselves and for future generations, because difficult days would be coming. All that counts is the salvation of people’s souls, and not temporary blessings here on earth.

Luke 23:26 And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.29 For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.

It’s good to know that the Lord will lift us up, under the condition that we humble ourselves before him. If we choose to draw nigh to him, he will draw nigh to us.

James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

Through the prophet Jeremiah, we learn that even God himself has much sorrow for those who refuse to hear him

He weeps when he sees his own flock being carried away:

Jeremiah 13:10 This evil people, which refuse to hear my words, which walk in the imagination of their heart, and walk after other gods, to serve them, and to worship them, shall even be as this girdle, which is good for nothing.11 For as the girdle cleaveth to the loins of a man, so have I caused to cleave unto me the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah, saith the Lord; that they might be unto me for a people, and for a name, and for a praise, and for a glory: but they would not hear.—16 Give glory to the Lord your God, before he cause darkness, and before your feet stumble upon the dark mountains, and, while ye look for light, he turn it into the shadow of death, and make it gross darkness.17 But if ye will not hear it, MY SOUL SHALL WEEP in secret places for your pride; and MINE EYE SHALL WEEP SORE, AND RUN DOWN WITH TEARS, because the Lord’s flock is carried away captive.

Jeremiah 9:1 Oh that my head were waters, and mine eyes a fountain of tears, that I might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of my people!2 Oh that I had in the wilderness a lodging place of wayfaring men; that I might leave my people, and go from them! for they be all adulterers, an assembly of treacherous men.3 And they bend their tongues like their bow for lies: but they are not valiant for the truth upon the earth; for they proceed from evil to evil, and they know not me, saith the Lord.—5 And they will deceive every one his neighbour, and will not speak the truth: they have taught their tongue to speak lies, and weary themselves to commit iniquity.6 Thine habitation is in the midst of deceit; through deceit they refuse to know me, saith the Lord.7 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, I will melt them, and try them; for how shall I do for the daughter of my people?8 Their tongue is as an arrow shot out; it speaketh deceit: one speaketh peaceably to his neighbour with his mouth, but in heart he layeth his wait.9 Shall I not visit them for these things? saith the Lord: shall not my soul be avenged on such a nation as this?10 For the mountains will I take up a weeping and wailing, and for the habitations of the wilderness a lamentation, because they are burned up, so that none can pass through them; neither can men hear the voice of the cattle; both the fowl of the heavens and the beast are fled; they are gone.—13 And the Lord saith, Because they have forsaken my law which I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice, neither walked therein;14 But have walked after the imagination of their own heart, and after Baalim, which their fathers taught them:15 Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink.

Paul spent a lot of time reasoning, arguing and discussing with people

Day and night, month after month. For what reason? An hour each year would be enough, if God decided about our destinies before the foundation of the world.

Acts 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures,3 Opening and alleging, that Christ must needs have suffered, and risen again from the dead; and that this Jesus, whom I preach unto you, is Christ.4 And some of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas; and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few.

Acts 17:16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry.  17Therefore disputed he in the synagogue with the Jews, and with the devout persons, and in the market daily with them that met with him.

Acts 19:8 And he went into the synagogue, and spake boldly for the space of three months, disputing and persuading the things concerning the kingdom of God. 9But when divers were hardened, and believed not, but spake evil of that way before the multitude, he departed from them, and separated the disciples, disputing daily in the school of one Tyrannus. 10And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts. 28:23 And when they had appointed him a day, there came many to him into his lodging; to whom he expounded and testified the kingdom of God, persuading them concerning Jesus, both out of the law of Moses, and out of the prophets, from morning till evening. 24 And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.

Should women always submit to men?

Women submitting to men – What does the Bible say? 

The Bible speaks about the equality among men and women, but also that women should submit themselves to their husbands. Naturally a woman must obey GOD more than MAN in cases where her husband would be opposing God. That’s why it’s beneficial in all sorts of way for a christian woman to marry a Bible believing man. If both parties obey Paul’s instructions, it’s a good ground for a matrimony in harmony.

Eph. 5:21 Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.22Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.24Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;

1 Cor 11:11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.

1 Cor. 7:4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife. 

Women in the Bible

Miriam, Deborah, Huldah, Anna, etc are named prophetess of the Lord…

Judges 4 & 5: Deborah, a prophet-judge, headed the army of ancient Israel.

2 Kings 22:14; 2 Chronicles 34:22 Huldah, a prophet, verified the authenticity of the ”Book of the Law of the Lord given through Moses.”

Acts 9:36 f Luke refers to a female disciple by her Aramaic name Tabitha, who was also known by her Greek name Dorcas.

Romans 16:1: Paul refers to Phoebe as a minister (diakonos) of the church mistranslating it as ”servant” or ”helper”.

Romans 16:3: Paul refers to Priscilla as another of his ”fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (NIV) Other translations refer to her as a ”co-worker”. The original Greek word is ”synergoi”, which literally means ”fellow worker” or ”colleague.”

Exodus 15:20-21 And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances. 21 And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea.’ 

Micah 6:4 I brought you up from the land of Egypt. I redeemed you from a life of slavery. I sent Moshe, Aharon and Miryam to lead you.

Isaiah 8:3 And I went unto the prophetess; and she conceived, and bare a son. Then said the LORD to me, Call his name Mahershalalhashbaz.

Luke 2:36 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with a husband seven years from her virginity; 37And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.38And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.

Rom. 16:7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Phil. 4:2 I beseech Euodias, and beseech Syntyche, that they be of the same mind in the Lord.  3 And I intreat thee also, true yokefellow, help those women which laboured with me in the gospel, with Clement also, and with other my fellowlabourers, whose names are in the book of life.

Acts 21:8 And the next day we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was one of the seven; and abode with him.9 And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.

Acts 2:17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. 18 ”And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy

Anthrópos and anér – two words for MAN

If God caused Balaam to be taught by a donkey (Numbers 22), why couldn’t He use women to teach men? If women are supposed to submit to men, what happens when christian men disagree among themselves?

There are 2 words for MAN in Greek ”Anthrópos” and ”anér” (genitive of ”anér” is ”andros”). In some languages the word for ”man” and ”woman” can mean either man/husband or woman/wife, depending on context. In English separate words are used. When it comes to the Greek NT, there is no other word for a husband but ”anér”.

Jacques More says: In my research and look at every place where ”anér” and ”anthrópos” are found, and reproduced in the appendices, something became clear: ”anér” is always used about a particular man so that in the plural it refers to a particular group of men whilst ”anthrópos” is about any man, someone, and in plural can just mean ”peoples”. This is well illustrated in John’s gospel and the feeding of the 5,000. ”Then Jesus said, ‘Make the people (anthrópous)sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men (andres) sat down, in number about five thousand’. John 6:10 (NKJV)

 Verses commonly used to support a general headship of man

1) 1 Cor. 11:3 But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.

Anér is here used for ”the man” resulting in ”head of woman the man/husband”. The definite article is present to indicate a certain man, and ”anér” itself refers to a particular man. Again there is no other word for ”husband” but ”anér”A better translation would be: ”and head of a woman THE HUSBAND” As found in the Amp.V, GNB, LB, RSV. 1 Cor. 11:3 cannot thereby be used for a general understanding of headship of men over women!

2) 1 Timothy 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man (andros which is from the Greek word anér), but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve.14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression.

The man Paul is talking about is a particular man – namely the HUSBAND of the woman. There is no other word for ”husband” than ”anér”. But we already know that a husband is the head of the household and not the wife. So a woman must submit to her own man and she must not have authority over him. It doesn’t say that a woman must be submissive to ALL MEN, and that ALL MEN can be an authority over ALL women out there. No, Paul is comparing with Adam and Eve, and he doesn’t suggest that Eve must be submissive to any other man than her own husband. But Paul is not saying that a woman therefore should try to rule over other men in a church environment.

The context shows he is also talking about a church environment and  Paul is addressing the issue of church order and about the danger of deception. The concern seems to be speaking out of turn while the official leader is teaching. In other areas women are free to pray and prophesy publicly “every woman who prays or prophesies” (1 Cor.11:5 NKJV) and to share and teach “whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a revelation, has an interpretation” (1 Cor.14:26 NKJV) which Paul here proceeded with “How is then, it brethren?” (NKJV) Brethren is meant in a generic sense as seen by Paul’s use of the term in regards to communion (1 Cor.11:33-34), the gifts of the Spirit (1 Cor.12:1),  to prophecy (1 Cor. 11:2-16) and the proper observance of the Lord’s Supper (1 Cor. 11:17-34). Then he gets into his main subject, the exercise of spiritual gifts (especially speaking in tongues), in chapters 12-14.

1 Cor. 11:5 But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.

If women were not allowed to pray and prophesy in church, it wouldn’t make sense to have rules for women how to go about when praying and prophesying. Paul nowhere says that women are to pray and prophesy only for women, and it would be a difficult task for a woman who feels a message coming from the Lord, to first try to make sure that no men are present risking to overhear her. A better translation of 1 Tim. 2:12 would be “nor to exercise authority of A HUSBAND”. The below verse seems to confirm that Paul wants to instruct his readers about order in church.

3) 1 Corinthians 14:34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience as also saith the law.35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their HUSBANDS at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

Also this shows that it concerns a church setting. Paul might have had good reasons for giving advice to the Corinthian church due to unruly women with low education (or none) who have many questions in relation to what is spoken about during a church gathering. These women might have disturbed the assembly due to questions, gossip and general talk why some instructions from Paul were needed. This still doesn’t mean that Paul’s advice was for this church alone but was an instruction for all churches to adhere to.

Another subject is women in leadership

There are views for and against women leadership and even if the below three verses seem to endorse only male leadership when it comes to bishops, deacons and elders, one of the arguments against (I’m not saying it’s right or wrong) is that there are verses such as Gen. 2:24 (Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh),where the MAN is in focus and used as an example, even though BOTH men and women are inferred. Both men and women must equally leave their parents even though only the MAN is referred to.  Matt. 5:28 is another example of that the man’s perspective is in focus:

Matt. 5:28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

This is very serious information and there is not a word about that it’s a sin for a WOMAN to look on a MAN to lust. This is something we just have to ADD or ASSUME, despite that we can’t read this in the text.  The argument is thus, that the below in the same way uses the MAN as an example, even though the same rule applies for both genders.

1 Timothy 3:2 A bishop (episkopon) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

1 Timothy 3:12 Let the deacons (diakonoi) be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Titus 1:5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders (presbyterous) in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

”The husband of one wife” is literally ”a one-woman man” which is an idiom. If taken literally this requirement would rule out unmarried, widowed and divorced men and women from being church leaders; yet Paul says that being single and celibate enables people to serve God better (1 Cor 7:32-35). The phrase is essentially describing the moral quality of marital fidelity, and not primarily referring to marital status or gender. An interesting verse when in relation to Tim. 3:12 is:

1 Tim. 5:14I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

So in conclusion a WIFE is not supposed to have authority over her HUSBAND, but what if her husband allows her to teach others about the gospel – whoever wants to listen? Then she is not going against the will of her husband even though she is teaching and spreading the word to others. She IS submitting to her husband. I hope women are allowed to teach their sons about the Bible and that there is no age limit for when they need to stop this due to the risk of teaching a person who is considered a ”man” and not a ”boy”.

With this background, it’s never a good idea for a man to dismiss a woman in a theology discussion for the reason that she is a woman teaching a man. Unless he is the HUSBAND of this particular woman. But this still doesn’t mean that all kinds of crazy theology views are correct just because a husband is claiming them before his wife or another woman. All men are supposed to be corrected by Jesus who is their Head, and Jesus words are found in the BIBLE which is our guidance. It’s rather evident that ALL christian men cannot ALWAYS be correct in a theology discussion with a woman. If that were the case, then a catholic man would automatically be correct for saying that christians should pray through Mary – if claiming this to a woman. If the woman objects, he can always say Who are YOU to teach a MAN? Works all the time…

(Check www.jarom.net to find more information from Jacques More about this subject and others)

Why did Jesus say ”I pray not for the world” in John 17:9?

I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine (John 17:9) 

The above verse is sometimes used as an attempt to prove that God does not want everyone to be saved and that Jesus did not even bother to pray for all people for this reason. However, in the same chapter we can also read:

20NEITHER PRAY I FOR THESE ALONE, BUT FOR THEM ALSO which shall believe on me through their word 

The world” is often contrasted with christian believers, and often stands in relation to Satan’s dominion and to all which is evil. It is obviously not a sin to be born into this world and to live in it, but we must make sure to not live OF this world by blending in with it – or love it more than God. This present world is considered to belong to Satan and in this sense prayers for it would not accomplish much since it i represents the root of all evil. Why spend time praying for Antichrist when we already know the future result of his evil actions against God’s plans? Prayers for individuals would make more sense – that they will be able to escape the temptations of this wicked world and turn to Jesus Christ – who does not want anyone to perish. As Paul says to the Ephesians ”For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world”. If all things were already determined (individuals chosen for heaven or hell before the world began), then of course there would be no reason to wrestle against anyone, nor to pray at all.

Isaiah 13:11 And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible.

John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.

John 12:25 He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.19 If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

1 John 5:19 And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness.

Jesus is in this particular passage focusing on his disciples (apart from Judas who has already fallen), just like we sometimes focus on only some of our family members or friends in our prayers. Jesus sends his disciples on a mission to be the light of this dark world, and this of course requires lots of strength and prayers. Jesus is not giving ”the world” this particular task because the world is against him and everything he stands for. The world is the reason why believers, like his disciples, need to be protected. By reading the rest of the passage (v. 2–8), we can see that those who the Father has given Jesus are those who have passed certain requirements:

  • They must KNOW the only true God
  • They must KEEP THE WORD
  • They must RECEIVE the word
  • They must BELIEVE that the Father has sent the son to the world

2As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him.3And this is life eternal, that they might KNOW thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.—6I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD.—8For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and THEY HAVE RECEIVED THEM, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and THEY HAVE BELIEVED that thou didst send me.

Even though certain people are ”given” Jesus and thus very special, they still need to be prayed for so that they will be kept and so that they may be ONE as Jesus and his Father are one in thoughts and goals. It is not a certainty that they will be kept, and we already know that Jesus lost one of his disciples given him – Judas Iscariot. Moreover, Jesus did not pray that his disciples would be taken out of this world but he prays that they will be KEPT while still living in this world. So Jesus prayers concerned his disciples who were with him (v. 12), but not all disciples were with him from the start. In. v. 20 he continues to pray also for all those who would believe on him through their words.

11And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. —15I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil.16They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

Jesus also prayed for others besides his disciples, like those who would be hearing the gospel from the mouths of the disciples.

20NEITHER PRAY I FOR THESE ALONE, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 

One of many prophesies in the OT about Jesus is that the Messiah would be praying (make intercession) for his transgressors:

Jesaja 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 23:33 And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. 34Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Obviously Jesus prayed also for non-believers. If we are to believe that Jesus never prayed for anyone else but a certain lucky crowd (the elect), should we take his example and pray only for a select few? No, the Bible says that we should even pray for our enemies.

Matt. 5:44 But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;45 That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.46 For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?

You can read verses that say that Jesus died for the whole world in this blog article