Jesus Christ is God the Saviour

Mostly when out witnessing, often one comes across Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons and Muslims who deny the true deity of Jesus Christ. This always seems to be an issue of contention when the Gospel is being proclaimed. This posting is all to the glory of God Almighty, and it was whilst searching the Holy Scriptures of God’s divine Word that certain clarity that God is Jesus and Jesus is God started unfolding that will bring understanding to the unbelieving masses who blaspheme the true deity of Jesus Christ.

Let us start by looking at the correct names of God and Jesus Christ from the Hebrew and Greek text in both the Old and New Testaments. Extensive quotes from the ‘Expanded Edition Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance’ will be used to bring clarity to the translations and also to assist persons who do not have a concordance and also those persons who are not believers who need to understand the Scriptures.

Let us get right into the Word. Almighty God tells Moses who He is in the Book of Exodus,

2 And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the LORD: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them. ~ Exodus 6:2,3

The Hebrew name for “LORD” in verse 2 is Strong’s “#3068 Yehôvâh, yeh-ho-vaw’; from 1961; (the) self-Existent or Eternal; Jehovah, Jewish national name of God: – Jehovah, the Lord. Compare 3050, 3069.

“A noun meaning God. The word refers to the proper name of the God of Israel, particularly the name by which He revealed Himself to Moses (Exodus 6:2,3). The divine name has traditionally not been pronounced, primarily out of respect for its sacredness (cf. Exodus 20:7; Deuteronomy 28:58). Until the Renaissance, it was written without vowels in the Hebrew text of the OT, being rendered as YHVH. However, since that time, the vowels of another word, ͗ădônây (136), have been supplied in hopes of reconstructing the pronunciation. Although the exact derivation of the name is uncertain, most scholars agree that its primary meaning should be understood in the context of God’s existence, namely, that He is the “I AM THAT I AM” (Exodus 3:14), the One who was, who is, and who always will be (cf. Revelation 11:17). Older translations of the Bible and many newer ones employ the practice of rendering the divine name in capital letters, so as to distinguish it from other Hebrew words. It is most often rendered as LORD (Genesis 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:18; Psalm 18:31; Jeremiah 33:2; Jonah 1:9) but also as GOD (Genesis 6:5; 2Samuel 12:22) or JEHOVAH (Psalm 83:18; Isaiah 26:4). The frequent appearance of this name in relation to God’s redemptive work underscores its tremendous importance (Leviticus 26:45; Psalm 19:14). Also it is sometimes compounded with another word to describe the character of the Lord in greater detail (see Genesis 22:14; Exodus 17:15; Judges 6:24).”

Now we will take a look at the name of the child conceived by the Holy Spirit and born to the virgin Mary, and the angel of the Lord said His name would be JESUS (see Luke 1:31). The Greek name for Jesus is Strong’s #2424 Iēsous, ee-ay-sooce’I; of Hebrew origin [3091]; Jesus (i.e. Jehoshua), the name of our Lord and two (three) other Israelites: – Jesus.

If we cross reference to the Hebrew word Strong’s #3091 we get the following: Yehôwshûwaʻ, yeh-ho-shoo’-ah; or Yehôwshuaʻ, yeh-ho-shoo’-ah; from 3068 and 3467; Jehovah-saved; Jehoshuä (i.e. Joshua), the Jewish leader; – Jehoshua, Jehoshuah, Joshua. Compare 1954 (Hôwshêaʻdeliverer), 3442 (Yêshûwaʻhe will save).

We also see that there is a strong connection to Strong’s #3068. The reference to Strong’s #3467 under Strong’s #3091 where we get Jesus’ name Yehôwshuaʻ from, that word is yâshaʻ which has a reference that reads “… the salvation that only comes from God (Isaiah 33:22; Zephaniah 3:17).”

22 For the LORD is our judge, the LORD is our lawgiver, the LORD is our king; he will save us. ~ Isaiah 33:22

17 The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. ~ Zephaniah 3:17

Jehovah (Yehôvâh), Lord God Almighty therefore saves. He will save says His Word.

In another portion of Scripture we read that God reveals that “… there is no God else beside me: a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.” The context of this Scripture is found in Isaiah ~

20 Assemble yourselves and come; draw near together, ye that are escaped of the nations: they have no knowledge that set up the wood of their graven image, and pray unto a god that cannot save. 21 Tell ye, and bring them near; yea, let them take counsel together: who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? and there is no God else beside me; a just God and a Saviour; there is none beside me. 22 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. 23 I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear. 24 Surely, shall one say, in the LORD have I righteousness and strength: even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. 25 In the LORD shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. ~ Isaiah 45:20-25

As God says there is none other than He alone and He is the only God and Saviour, then Scripture confirms and validates that the Lord Jesus Christ is God in human form and our Saviour. If God says there is no other God and He is our Saviour to save us from His wrath, and God sent His only begotten Son to save the world then how can His Son be also a Saviour? If there is one God who is Saviour then no other person can be Saviour too. Scripture validates that Jesus Christ is both God and Saviour. In the Gospel of John we read:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16

In verse 17 we continue to read –

17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. ~ John 3:17

The word “saved” at the end of verse 17 is the Strong’s #4982 sōzō, sode’-zo; … to save, i.e. deliver or protect (literal or figurative): – heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.

From sōs (n.f.), safe, delivered. To save, deliver, make whole, preserve safe from danger, loss, destruction.

(I) Used particularly of persons, to keep safe, to preserve or deliver out of physical death (Matthew 8:25; 14:30; 16:25; 24:22; 27:40,42; Mark 3:4; 8:35; 13:20; Luke 6:9; 9:24; John 12:27; Acts 27:20,31; Hebrews 5:7; Jude 5).

(II) Of sick persons, to save from death and (by implication) to heal, restore to health; passively, to be healed, recover (Matthew 9:21, 22; Mark 5:23,28,34; Luke 7:50; 8:36, 48; John 11:12; Acts 4:9; James 5:15).

(III) Specifically of salvation from eternal death, sin, and the punishment and misery consequent to sin. To save, and (by implication), to give eternal life (Matthew 1:21; 10:22; 18:11; 19:25; 24:13; Mark 10:26; 13:13; 16:16; Luke 8:12; John 5:34; 10:9; Acts 2:40; Romans 5:9, 10; 11:14; 1Corinthians 1:21; 5:5; 1Timothy 2:15; 4:16; 2Timothy 4:18; Hebrews 7:25; James 1:21; 5:20). The participle is used substantively to refer to those being saved, those who have obtained salvation through Christ and are kept for Him (Luke 13:23; Acts 2:47; 1Corinthians 1:18; 2Corinthians 2:15; Revelation 21:24).

Deriv.: diasózō (1295), to bring safely through; sōtēr (4990), Saviour.

Syn.: anagennáō (313), to beget again from above; diasōzō (1295), to bring safely through; therapeúō (2323), to care for the sick for the purpose of healing; iáomai (2390), to heal both physically and spiritually; phulássō (5442), to preserve.

In the context of the passage of Scripture, the word “saved” at the end of verse 17 above finds its definition in paragraph (III) here above. It is also worth looking at the derivation of Strong’s #4990 sōtēr, so-tare’; from 4982; a deliverer, i.e. God or Christ: – saviour.

Noun from sōzō (4982), to save. A saviour, deliverer, preserver, one who saves from danger or destruction and brings into a state of prosperity and happiness. In Gr. writers, the deliverer and benefactor of an estate. The ancient mythological gods (such as Zeus) were also called sōtér. In the NT, spoken:

(I) Of God as Saviour (Luke 1:47; 1Timothy 1:1; 2:3; 4:10; Titus 1:3; 2:10; 3:4; Jude 25).

(II) Of Jesus as the Messiah, the Saviour of men, who saves His people from the guilt and power of sin and from eternal death, from punishment and misery as the consequence of sin, and gives them eternal life and blessedness in His kingdom (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Acts 5:31; 13:23; Ephesians 5:23; Philippians 3:20; 2Timothy 1:10; Titus 1:4; 2:13; 3:6; 2Peter 1:1,11; 2:20; 3:2,18; 1John 4:14).

Deriv.: sōtēria (4991), salvation; sōtērion (4992), the means of salvation.

Syn.: lutrōtēs (3086), redeemer; Messias (3323), Messiah.

47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. ~ Luke 1:47

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. ~ Luke 2:11

42 And said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have heard him ourselves, and know that this is indeed the Christ, the Saviour of the world. ~ John 4:42

31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. ~ Acts 5:31

23 Of this man’s seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus: ~ Acts 13:23

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. ~ Ephesians 5:23

20 For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: ~ Philippians 3:20

1 Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the commandment of God our Saviour, and Lord Jesus Christ, which is our hope; ~ 1Timothy 1:1

3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; ~ 1Timothy 2:3

10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. ~ 1Timothy 4:10

10  But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel: ~ 2Timothy 1:10

3 But hath in due times manifested his word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour; 4 To Titus, mine own son after the common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Saviour. ~ Titus 1:3,4

10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. ~ Titus 2:10-14

4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. ~ Titus 3:4-7

1 Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ, to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ: ~ 2Peter 1:1

11 For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. ~ 2Peter 1:11

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. ~ 2Peter 2:20

2 That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets, and of the commandment of us the apostles of the Lord and Saviour: 3 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, 4 And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. ~ 2Peter 3:2-4

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen. ~ 2Peter 3:18

14 And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world. ~ 1John 4:14

25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen. ~ Jude 25

God’s Word, the Holy Bible, is self authenticating and needs no man’s intervention, although there are many blasphemers who say without any proof that the Word of God has been corrupted or changed by men, or the Muslims say they have the “true scriptures” in another final testament, although these writings were written by a man (who is dead and whose body has seen corruption) about 600+ years after the Lord Jesus Christ (who lived, died and resurrected to life again) had already ascended into heaven where He now sits at the right hand of the Father from where He will one day return in glory to judge this world in righteousness,

30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent: 31 Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained; whereof he hath given assurance unto all men, in that he hath raised him from the dead. ~ Acts 17:30,31

10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. ~ 2Corinthians 5:10

If this was the case, then in order for a final testament to exist there would have to be preceding testaments to be in existence. Those preceding testaments would be the foundational scriptures to work from. The fact is God gave the preceding Scriptures in the Old and New Testaments through the law, prophecies by holy men moved of God and His revelation, which Muslims acknowledge to some degree the Bible in some form, then how can God allow a further testament that contradicts His two and only Testaments being the Old and the New of the Holy Bible? The main contradiction by Islam is that Jesus did not die on the cross. By saying this, Muslims are contradicting the Word of God by giving another account or gospel of what took place at the crucifixion of Christ. Islam’s account is not Good News, but bad news, as they have removed the Saviour’s finished work in the person of the True Jesus Christ, God manifest in flesh (see John 1:1,14) from the Gospel. This ‘bad news’ would also be true to the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons preaching a different ‘Jesus’, one they have blasphemed by taking from His true deity as God Almighty. In closing, the last book of the Holy Bible gives a warning against adding to and taking away from the Canon of God’s Word:

18 For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: 19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book. 20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus. 21 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen. ~ Revelation 22:18-21

To the scoffers, blasphemers and the antichrist – BE FORWARNED!!

Soli Deo Gloria____________________

References:

  • Expanded Edition Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance, Edited by Warren Baker, Copyright © 2004 by AMG Publishers
  • King James Bible, 1611 Scriptures

2017 Maritzburg District Football Association (M.D.F.A.) U10

27  He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living: ye therefore do greatly err.
28  And one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, and perceiving that he had answered them well, asked him, Which is the first commandment of all?
29  And Jesus answered him,
The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord: 
30  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment. 
31  And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these. 
32  And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he: ~ Mark 12:27-32

2017 M.D.F.A. Under 10

By the grace of a divine GOD and through His blessed Son, my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, according to His will and purpose, I was chosen as an assistant coach for the Maritzburg District Football Association (M.D.F.A.) Under 10 team that participated in the SAFA Pinetown Local Football Association (PLFA) Junior Incoming Tournament that took place on 6-7 October 2017 at the Forest Hills Sports Club, KZN. The Tournament hosted teams from Gauteng that represented Rand Central, Easterns, and Pretoria, and the KZN Associations from Durban, Pinetown and Pietermaritzburg (M.D.F.A.).

For a team that came together for about three weeks before the tournament commenced, the M.D.F.A. Under 10 team performed and equipped themselves reasonably well against the well drilled teams from the Gauteng province. We were informed that a team like Easterns had already been in preparation for four (4) months leading up to the tournament. So finishing fourth out of eight teams was an achievement in itself. The squad comprised sixteen players, two coaches and a manager. The squad assembled was as per the team photo above and the squad listing hereunder:

  1. Ryan Mustard (GK – Savages FC)
  2. Thando Hlophe (Pirates FC)
  3. Andile Ngwane (Savages FC)
  4. M.D.F.A. LogoKofi Atta (Pirates FC)
  5. Baseer Abrahams (Savages FC)
  6. Siyamthanda Skhakhane (Savages FC)
  7. Curt Rogers (Pirates FC)(Captain)
  8. Cee-Jay Mulder (Pirates FC)
  9. Kaydon Adonis (Pirates FC)
  10. Malachi Momplé (Pirates FC)
  11. Tynin Sampson (Savages FC)
  12. Farhdeen Khan (Westside Lads)
  13. Azande Zondi (GK – Pirates FC)
  14. Thuba Myeni (MDAS)
  15. Deolin Marais (City Saints)
  16. Declan Pillay (Savages FC)
  • Miles Rogers (Head Coach – Pirates FC)
  • Gary Crous (Assistant Coach – Pirates FC)
  • Mrs. Leigh Mustard (Manager – Savages FC)

The following statistics record our performances. We played three matches on Friday 6 October 2017, starting off well with two straight wins, but losing in the third match. Kindly note that at Under 10 level you have nine players per team on the field with substitutes available. Here are the results:

Line-up 01 Line-up 02 Line-up 03

And on Saturday 7 October 2017 we played four matches as follows, failing to score on day two which might well have cost us a position or two. However, one should always remember that GOD knew our results and position even before it came to pass:

Line-up 04 Line-up 05 Line-up 06 Line-up 07Final Log Positions

The team was well supported by the players’ parents over the two days and here are some photographs to enjoy in random order:

The M.D.F.A. U10s showing off their squad numbers  IMG-20171007-WA0002Assistant Coach Gary Crous in the rain Thulani Zondi and son Azande Two Soccer Moms giving their support(L) Declan Pillay and (R) Farhdeen Khan  vs. Easterns "A"Curt Rogers taking a free kick . . .  . . . and kicking it up fieldAndile Ngwane clearing in defence vs. Easterns "A" Team Manager/Photographer Leigh MustardVincent Myeni, dad of Thuba  Boys milling around between matches. L-R: Deolin Marais (obscured) by Cale (#6 U11), Thando Hlophe, Kaydon Adonis, Baseer Abrahams, Curt Rogers and Thuba MyeniC.J. Sukraj and Thabiso Madlala of Soccer Kids Academy/DCLFA(Durban)  M.D.F.A. U10 Goalkeeper Ryan MustardDCLFA (Durban)(L) and M.D.F.A. (Pietermaritzburg)(R) line-up before the match  Captain Curt RogersCee-Jay Mulder and Malachi Momplé on the ball  Cee-Jay Mulder showing determinationAyanda Mdlalose (DCLFA) and Kaydon Adonis (M.D.F.A.) compete for the ball  Curt Rogers and an opponent and looking on is Cee-Jay MulderGame over and the sportsmanship handshaking  Win or Lose friendships prevail

The players’ rewards for their wonderful performances were being acknowledged in The Witness, a local newspaper, on two occasions thanks to our Media Liaison Officer, our Manager Mrs Leigh Mustard. Well done boys!

The Witness, Tuesday 10 October 2017 The Witness, Thursday 12 October 2017In closing, my ongoing prayer in completion of this time spent with these precious boys, their parents and the coaching staff is that GOD will be merciful and all will come to true repentance and faith in the only Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ, the Son of the true and living GOD YEHOVAH! For,

43  Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy.
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?
47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
~ Matthew 5:43-48

Soli Deo Gloria

____________________________

Foot Notes:

To all who did not receive the Gospel tract My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking please do spend some time reading the same at the link and where necessary, Repent and Believe. ~ Your friend, Gary

A related blog posting to also be read: 2017 Champions ~ Are You Ready?

2017 Champions ~ Are You Ready?

34  And when he had called the people unto him with his disciples also, he said unto them, Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
35  For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for my sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it.
36  For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37  Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
38  Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
~ Mark 8:34-38

Pirates Football Club (Est. 1897)Dear players, parents and coaches

Whilst the 2017 M.D.F.A. football league season has drawn to a close, the question that should be asked is – What has it profited us? If we have only obtained gold medals and a trophy, but have not learned anything concerning the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ then we have failed dismally. If the Gospel literature and discussions have not challenged unbelieving players, parents and coaches to seek Truth, and who remain unrepentant outside the Kingdom of GOD and therefore they remain enemies of GOD through their wicked works, then any accolades, medals, championships we have won are a waste of time and effort. Being religious and pious, but not being born-again by the Spirit of the Living GOD leaves each individual utterly bankrupt! Our true riches can only be found in the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ! Everything else is dross!

In Holy Scripture, our journey through life on earth is likened to a marathon race. We are reminded that our running of the race is to be a spiritual race for an incorruptible crown, not a worldly race for a crown that perishes! The very medals that we win will wax old and perish, but the true reward for a born-again child of GOD will be to pursue a crown that will last for eternity, as we read, for it is written,

24  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. ~ I Corinthians 9:24-27

Friends, in the early part of the football season, on 25th May 2017 to be precise, an encouraging challenge was presented in the various Pirates WhatsApp groups, which led to one conversation, that is shared here to put this blog post in perspective, that went as follows – please read left thenWhatsApp02 right:

WhatsApp01 Friends, the God-Man Jesus Christ stated that, “6 I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 7 If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.” (John 14:6,7). GOD is a Spirit (John 4:24), so whilst Jesus was speaking to His disciples and stated that they “know him, and have seen him” in reference to GOD the Father, Christ Jesus was in fact stating that He is GOD manifest in flesh (see John 1:1,2,14) and in I Timothy 3:16 we read, for it is written, “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” Therefore, man-made religions do not worship the True GOD and those religions will condemn souls to hell. If you are not a Christ follower (a born-again Christian)(see John 3:3-7) it matters what you believe for your beliefs will condemn your soul into eternal damnation! And there is no Scriptural evidence for a man-made papal heresy called purgatory! For we read, for it is written,

27  And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: ~ Hebrews 9:27

Friends, during the course of the football season at various times opportunities presented themselves where Gospel literature was presented to various persons and conversations were had. My love for my Roman Catholic friends compelled me to warn some of the dangers of being in membership with the papal Roman Catholic political-religious institution that has changed the Word of GOD with heretical man-made teachings, that one will never find in GOD’s Holy Scriptures. Love compels one to warn of pending danger, and therefore these Gospel tracts were offered in love to my fellow man:

>> My Friends Are Dying And, Though They Be Alive, They Are Dead Men Walking ~ A Message of Hope ~

>> GAME OVER ~ A Real Tragedy ~

>> The Gospel for Roman Catholics

>> Are Roman Catholics Christian?

>> Man of the Match

>> Your Life ~ God’s Solution to Your Religion

>> Creation vs. Evolution ~ Do Not Let Darwin Make a Monkey Out of You

>> Reincarnation . . . Or Resurrection? ~ A Message to Hindus ~ 

2017 League Champions Pirates (League) and Savages (K.O. Cup) awaiting the medal presentations  The Pirates BoysPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC   Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC Pirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FCPirates FC lining up to congratulate our opponents Savages FC  Curt leading the team onto The Deck

WhatsApp comment by George CarelseFriends, in response to the afore-pictured sporting gestures, the screenshot to the left from the Pirates FC Chairman George Carelse, who is also the Chairman of the M.D.F.A. (Maritzburg District Football Association), compliments  our Sportsmanship and Fair Play “On and Off the field” which is commendable as we promote, as can be testified by a video that can be viewed on Facebook at this Link. However, it should be remembered that every ‘good work’ that we undertake here on earth will one day be tested by fire to see if it was done for the right reasons, to bring glory to GOD or whether it was an act to be seen of men, as we read, for it is written,

11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. ~ I Corinthians 3:11-15

So was our work built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ? Or did we do ‘good works’ in our own self-righteous strength? As a result, was it worth our while this past season to obtain perishable medals? or were we truly running to obtain an incorruptible crown? For we are warned, as it is written,

5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? ~ II Corinthians 13:5

Curt Rogers Malachi MompleThando Hlophe  Kory DonnellyKaydon Adonis Cee-Jay MulderKaleb Chetty Trent van WykLungelo Gwabuzela   Azande ZondiBrelyn Johnson Dvon HarveyKofi Atta Lorenzo DolphinHead Coach Miles Rogers presenting Asst. Coach Gary Crous  Asst. Coach Gary Crous presenting Head Coach Miles Rogers  M.D.F.A. Chairman and Pirates F.C. Chairman George Carelse presenting the Pirates Under 10 Coaches with the League Champions Trophy

The M.D.F.A. and Pirates F.C. Chairman George Carelse with the Pirates F.C. Under 10 Coaches Gary Crous (Asst.) and Miles Rogers (Head) after receiving the League Champions Trophy Campiones, Campiones, Ole, Ole, Ole

Dear friends, whilst we were successful in our football endeavours, was there true spiritual growth according to the Word of GOD? Being religious does not cut it. Naming the name of ‘Jesus’ does not cut it either, for we read, for it is written,

13  Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat:
14  Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.
15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16  Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17  Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18  A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19  Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20  Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
21  Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
22 
Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
23  And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.
24  Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26  And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27  And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

28  And it came to pass, when Jesus had ended these sayings, the people were astonished at his doctrine:
29  For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. ~ Matthew 7:13-29 (my emphasis added in bold)

In closing, as we entered this week there was much talk about the date 23rd September 2017 by the “date setting prophets”, the “doomsday sayers” and the internet is abuzz with videos and writings about the speculative predictions of Planet-X (Nibiru) slamming into earth or knocking it off its axis, the pre-tribulation rapture, the Revelation 12 sign, and the Second Coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even talk of the end of the world. Is this all possible now? It certainly is. Will it come to pass now? Only GOD knows the end from the beginning, for it is written, “9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:9,10).

Friends, what I do know and share from GOD’s Word as we can read, for it is written,

31  Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.
32  But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.
33  Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is.

34  For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
35  Watch ye therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning:
36  Lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping.
37  And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch.
~ Mark 13:31-37

And in the Gospel of Luke it points to the very times we are living in – these evil days are just as the “days of Noe” and the “days of Lot” – as we read, for it is written,

26  And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man.
27  They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all.
28  Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded;
29  But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all. 
30  Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.
~ Luke 17:26-30

Friends, let us not find ourselves as enemies of GOD, as we read, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.” (James 4:4). And in the commentary words of Matthew Henry in respect of this particular verse: “Here is a decided warning to avoid all criminal friendships with this world. Worldly-mindedness is enmity to God. An enemy may be reconciled, but “enmity” never can be reconciled. A man may have a large portion in things of this life, and yet be kept in the love of God; but he who sets his heart upon the world, who will conform to it rather than lose its friendship, is an enemy to God.

Dear friends, unless you are born-again and your name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you cannot enter and see the Kingdom of GOD! Today is the day of salvation. Call upon GOD to save you in Jesus’ Name – Repent and believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is your only hope! Your calling should be “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 20:21). Nothing and nobody else can save your soul. So, Are You Ready?

36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? ~ Mark 8:36,37

Soli Deo Gloria

Promotion of One Religion in Schools Not Allowed Rebuttal

THIS blog post will consist of two newspaper articles, a rebuttal of judge Willem van der Linde’s South Gauteng High Court ruling and a conclusion by writer from the only True standard being the Holy Word of GOD. The School Governing Bodies (SGBs) will not be legally bound by this decision until such time as this judgment has been appealed to and until such time the appeals are concluded and therefore the SGBs can continue as before with their chosen religious ethos.

ChristianView Network condemns this mornings judgment of Wednesday 28 June 2017, by the South Gauteng High Court that school governing bodies may not adopt a particular single faith religious ethos is legally flawed for multiple reasons and hopefully will be overturned on appeal. The ruling undermines the authority of parents through the school governing body. It is unfair to people of faith who have to contribute taxes towards education, but cannot then benefit by having those taxes used towards single faith ethos. The national consultation by Education Minister Bengu in 1999 found that almost all parents and religious groups wanted single faith ethos in schools. . . .

The matter will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal and then to the Constitutional Court and thus School governing bodies will not be legally bound by this decision until such time as such appeals are concluded. In the interim, they will be able to continue as before. – Philip Rosenthal of ChristianView Network (Source)

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The first newspaper article

Single religion schools unlawful

News / 29 June 2017, 07:57am / Kamcilla Pillay and Zimasa Matiwane (Source)

Judge's gavel

KwaZulu-Natal religious bodies have welcomed the South Gauteng High Court ruling against the promotion of one denomination over another at public schools.

Judge Willem van der Linde said in his ruling on Monday: “Neither a school governing body nor a public school may lawfully hold out that it subscribes to only a single particular religion to the exclusion of others.”

In May, the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy brought an application to the high court asking it to rule against having one dominant religion observed at public schools.

The organisation, reported the African News Agency, brought the application against six schools: Laerskool Randhart, Laerskool Baanbreker, Laerskool Garsfontein, Hoërskool Linden, Hoërskool Oudtshoorn and Oudtshoorn Gimnasium, arguing that religious practices at these schools resulted in the suppression of scientific teachings of evolution, and a religious ethos that was a form of coercion and an abuse of pupils’ rights.

Van der Linde said public spaces were not “rarefied spaces” but public ones which needed to help to achieve “universal and non-discriminatory access to education”.

The judge also said the constitution demanded that provision for religious policies and observances needed to be conducted on a “free and voluntary, and equitable” basis.

“In this country, our diversity is celebrated, not tolerated.”

Van der Linde questioned if it would be acceptable if a public school, through rules laid down by the school governing body, held out that it was “exclusively a Jewish, or a Christian, or a Muslim, or a Buddhist, or an atheist, school”.

“Accepting a notional feeder community of 100% single religion parents, could it ever pass muster of the need for a national democratic respect for our country’s diverse cultural and religious traditions for that school to brand itself as adhering to that particular single faith to the exclusion of others?”

The national department of education said the ruling was consistent with its own policy, informed by the South African Schools Act and the constitution, that no one religion should be promoted above another.

“The aim is not to ban religious practices in schools but about protecting children and emphasising that schools should engage in religion education rather than religious instruction and not promote one religion over another,” said a spokesperson for the department.

Chairperson of the National Association of School Governing Bodies, Motsamai Lekata, said the organisation welcomed the “progressive” judgment.

He said today’s pupils would interact with a far “more pluralistic society” and that schools were the one place where different religions met.

“South Africa is one nation but its people believe in many gods. This, if implemented correctly, will teach our pupils tolerance, diversity, equality and justice,” Lekata said.

South African Muslim Network chairperson Dr Faisal Suliman said fostering a culture of inclusion should be a “natural, human inclination”.

“We are trying to build social cohesion. How do we do that? We try to understand each other: it starts here, at our schools. This will go a long way in eradicating extremism too.”

He praised the judgment for its values of mutual tolerance and acceptance.

Ashwin Trikamjee, president of the Hindu Maha Sabha, said that – especially 23 years after the advent of democracy – this kind of case should not be coming before the courts.

“We very often hear complaints from disgruntled parents about this exclusion. It should not be happening in this day and age.”

It was not the responsibility of schools to teach children about their faith, said chairperson for the Diakonia Council of Churches, the Reverend Ian Booth.

“This is for places of worship to do. We would support this judgment as it is in keeping with our constitution.”

The ChristianView Network did not approve of the ruling and said it confused the “constitutional affirmation of unity in diversity with the positive requirement of celebrating diversity”.

“In other words, tolerance of other religions does not imply a need to ‘celebrate’ multi-faith observances, with which most people of faith have a strong objection.”

The Mercury

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the second newspaper article

Judge Willem van der Linde hands down the ruling at the High Court in Johannesburg. (Wikus De Wet-Netwerk24)‘Schools should not adopt one religion to the exclusion of others’ – judge

2017-06-28 10:35 – News24 (Source)

Johannesburg – The High Court in Johannesburg has handed down a ruling on religion in public schools, saying that schools can’t promote one religion.

The case was brought by the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy (OGOD) against six schools.

"Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that:
(a) Those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities;
(b) They are conducted on an equitable basis; and
(c) Attendance at them is free and voluntary," Judge Willem van der Linde said while handing down the judgment, quoting from Section 15 of the Constitution which deals with freedom of religion, belief and opinion.

"…we have however also found at the level of principle that neither a school governing body nor a public school may lawfully hold out that it subscribes to only a single particular religion to the exclusion of others," said Van der Linde.

OGOD wanted the court to declare unconstitutional the religion policy of six schools: Randhart Primary School in Alberton, Baanbreker Primary School in Boksburg, Garsfontein Primary School in Pretoria, Linden High School in Johannesburg, Oudtshoorn High School and Langenhoven Gymnasium in Oudtshoorn, Netwerk24 previously reported.

The six schools, the ministers of basic education and justice, and the National Society for School Governing Bodies were respondents.

The court found that it was against the Education Act to "promote one faith or one religion primarily at the expense of others or allow school staff to do it", Netwerk24 reported.

"In the circumstances, we issue the following order:
(a). It is declared that it offends Section 7 of the Schools Act, 84 of 1996 for a public school –
(i). To promote or allow its staff to promote that it as a public school adheres to only one, or predominantly only one, religion to the exclusion of others; and
(ii). To hold out that it promotes the interests of any one religion in favour of others."

The remainder of the relief claimed was refused and there was no order as to costs.

Advocate Hendrik van Nieuwenhuizen, for OGOD, said it is in the interests of South African democracy that public schools are not allowed to promote a particular religion, but that the choice of religion lies with pupils.

Advocate Adrian d’Oliveira, the school’s legal representative, said every school community was unique and should therefore be allowed to choose a religious policy that serves the community. They wanted the court to recognise the "governing authority" of the school governing bodies.

Advocate Matthew Chaskalson, for the minister of basic education, said the national policy on religion and education prohibited public schools from offering religious education in a single faith or in favour of a particular religious ethos.

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rebuttal by philip rosenthal

Thought Leaders June 29, 2017 (Source)

Religion in public schools judgment is ‘flawed’ – Philip Rosenthal

JOHANNESBURG — Religious freedom is one of the cornerstones of South Africa’s Constitutional democracy. The state is secular and people have the right to choose their beliefs. But in a multi-faceted society as complex as South Africa, huge differences in opinion are set to emerge. Subsequently, a landmark judgment delivered this week regarding religion in public schools is already causing heated debate. The South Gauteng High Court ruled this week that public schools should not favour any one religion over others. The landmark ruling came about amid the Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy having brought the case against six schools with a Christian ethos. News organisation Enca reported that “the organisation argued that the schools’ decision to stop the scientific teaching of the theory of evolution is an abuse of pupils’ rights”. The organisation reportedly further “opposed the teaching of creationism and what it described as coercing pupils to follow Christianity and hymn singing”. Of course, creationism should not get in the way of scientific teaching, especially in a South Africa that sorely needs a skilled populace. But some experts are arguing that schools should at least still have the right to choose their religious ethos. In this article, Philip Rosenthal puts once such viewpoint forward. – Gareth van Zyl

By Philip Rosenthal*

Why Judge VD Linde was wrong on religion in schools judgment

The judgment of Wednesday 28 June 2017, given by Willem van der Linde in the South Gauteng High Court that school governing bodies may not promote themselves as having a particular single faith religious ethos is flawed for multiple reasons and hopefully will be overturned on appeal.

Philip RosenthalThe judge was however correct firstly in dismissing the detailed list of 71 demands of the atheistic lobby group O.G.O.D. based on the principle of subsidiarity, where the challenge must first appeal to the lowest level of law in its hierarchy (i.e. first School Governing Body (SGB) policy, second provincial legislation, third national legislation and lastly the constitution).

Secondly he was correct in dismissing challenge based on the National Religion Policy, which is not enforceable the by the court. The judge made the wrong assumptions that public schools are ‘organs of state’, rather than a parent-teacher-state partnership; confused the constitutional affirmation of ‘unity in diversity’ with a requirement of ‘celebrating diversity’.

He wrongly assumed that the SGB rules must accommodate both past and possible future demographics and accommodate any possible religion equally in direct contradiction to the interpretation of the same clause by the Constitutional Court in 1996.

Despite having found the applicant’s case procedurally flawed, the court invoked an overly broad and not adequately substantiated interpretation of their discretionary powers to issue an order in their favour, that would, if accepted, leave every person on every right vulnerable to judicial activist social engineering policy making.

The matter will be appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeal and then to the Constitutional Court and thus School governing bodies will not be legally bound by this decision until such time as such appeals are concluded. In the interim, they will be able to continue as before.

Education must be aligned with human rights, everyone has a right to choose their own religion. Schools must respect that #SchoolsReligion

— IG : Khangwi_Ino (@Khangwi_ino) June 28, 2017

Why the decision had the wrong reasoning

The judge gave the following key reasons. We explain why each is flawed:

The judge stated his assumptions before his reasons:

Judges assumption #1: “Public schools are organs of state” We argue that public schools should not be viewed as “organs of state”, but rather as independent institutions which are extensions of the family where teachers operate ‘in loco parentis’, under the authority of parents represented by the School Governing Body (SGB) in partnership with the state. The state takes parents tax money and redistributes it to public schools and regulates certain issues such as educational standards. Public schools should thus be viewed as ‘state-aided institutions’ rather than ‘state institutions’. The implications of this assumption influences whether the centre of authority should be parents or the state.

Judges assumption #2: The judge quoted the preamble of the Constitution as ‘united in our diversity‘, but then interpreted from this ‘the need to celebrate our diversity’. Nevertheless, there is a big difference in the context of sharply differing views between ‘united’ and ‘celebration’ in the context of religion and belief. ‘United’ means that we tolerate, accommodate and respect differences and find ways to work together. It does not mean that we must ‘celebrate’ another’s religion or belief. For example, a Christian may respect a Muslim’s right to “celebrate” Eid, but does not wish to “celebrate” the festival by participating. Likewise a Muslim may respect a Christian’s right to celebrate Easter but not wish to participate. “Celebration” is part of religious observance. “Unity” and “equity” requires “reasonable accommodation”, but not joint “celebration”. ‘Tolerance’ and ‘respect’ are passive, while ‘celebration’ is active. The judge did not see this subtle but key logical difference.

Based on these assumptions, the judges gave the following reasons:

1) Communities evolve, were influenced by past racial demographic policies and must be encouraged to evolve. Answer: As a community changes, they have the opportunity to change the School Governing Body policies on religion and this is happening all the time. Often different schools in the same area adopt different policies, or a particular school may stream religious observances. Minorities have the opportunity to opt-out, to stream parallel observances for their religion or choose the school in the area with the most favourable policy to them. The ruling prohibiting single faith ethos is not needed to facilitate such flexible change and it is not the responsibility of the court to force a mixed uniform religious policy.

2) (a). A member of a minority religion may due to economic circumstance have no choice of alternatives. Answer: There are non-public school alternatives of home schooling, private schooling and the rising trend of the growth of ‘cottage schools’ i.e. very small private schools held in a home or community building, often making use of distance education resources – which are affordable and also occur in economically disadvantaged areas. Minorities do have the right to “reasonable accommodation” implied by the “equitable” in Section 15(2)(b) of the Constitution, which would allow them to opt-out or have their own streamed observances within a public school if they wish.

Court says it’s concerned by single faith branding in schools, and endorsing one religion to the exclusion of others #ReligionInSchools

— Michelle Craig (@MichelleL_Craig) June 28, 2017

2) (b). Being in a religious minority in a school of a particular faith, may inculcate a sense of ‘inferior differentness’. Answer: Firstly, the school has a responsibility to encourage a culture of tolerance of individuals who are different for various reasons, not only religious. Secondly, every individual is likely during their school career to feel ‘different’ for reasons that may or may not relate to religion. Even within the majority religion, there will be subdivisions of belief or practice which are ‘different’. Thirdly, forcing multi-faith observances onto a school can then may those of the majority faith who wish to opt-out of such observances also feel ‘inferior differentness’. The problem is not entirely avoidable as a possibility under any system except ‘homeschooling’ and is not solved by the proposed ruling against particular ethos.

3) Judge vd Linde comes to his conclusion” “accepting as one must, that the SGB rules must provide equitably for all faiths (given present and evolving future demographics), would the adoption of a single faith brand that excludes others not misrepresent the legally required position? That learners of all faiths are (should be) welcome? We think it would.”

Answer: Judge van der Linde builds on the flawed assumption that the SGB rules must accommodate evolving demographics already answered. Nevertheless, at this critical point of conclusion he paraphrases the Constitution incorrectly and misinterprets it, contradicting a previous ruling of the higher Constitutional Court. Clause 15(2) of the Constitution says “Religious observances may be conducted at state or state-aided institutions, provided that a. those observances follow rules made by the appropriate public authorities; b. they are conducted on an equitable basis…”

In the class room

In the judgment, S v Lawrence , S v Negal ; S v Solberg,1996, a case that took place during the interim constitution and in the year the final constitution became law, then Chief justice Chaskalson interpreted the same clause “It is in this context that it requires the regulation of school prayers to be carried out on an equitable basis. I doubt whether this means that a school must make provision for prayers for as many denominations as there may be within the pupil body; rather it seems to me to require education authorities to allow schools to offer the prayers that may be most appropriate for a particular school, to have that decision taken in an equitable manner applicable to all schools, and to oblige them to do so in a way which does not give rise to indirect coercion of the “non-believers”.

In other words, Chief Justice Chaskalson differed from Judge vd Linde’s interpretation of this clause in that ‘equitable’ does not mean that every individual school governing bodies religion policy rules must equally accommodate every religion equally, but that the national framework of laws regulating school religion must allow the different policies of each SGB to be made on an ‘equitable basis’. In other words the national system must allow one school to decide to have a Christian ethos and another to have a Muslim ethos or another to have a Secular or New Age (multi-faith) ethos.

For all the above reasons, Van der Linde’s ruling was wrong and hopefully will be overturned on appeal.

Did the court really have the power to issue this order?

Extraordinarily, the Gauteng High Court did not declare any legislation or rule of the School Governing bodies invalid or issue any of the 71 requested interdicts against any specific party in the dispute. They explained they could not do so because of the procedurally misdirected way in which the case had been framed by the atheistic lobby group O.G.O.D with respect to subsidiarity (explained earlier). The vague application could be compared with aiming a sawn off shotgun in the general direction of the education system and hoping that somehow, something will hit some target. Normally, when the applicant’s case is procedurally flawed, it is simply dismissed – and they must try again following correct procedure and doing their legal homework properly.

Gauteng High Court

But in this case, the Court came to the rescue of the applicant’s procedurally disqualified case and invoked what it claimed were general discretionary powers of the Court that it found in Section 172(1)(b) of the Constitution and Section 21(1)(c) of the Superior Courts Act. Now there are several problems with invoking these extraordinary discretionary powers in this case. The power granted in terms of section 172(1)(b) says ‘When deciding a constitutional matter within its power, a court may make any order that is just and equitable, including i. an order limiting the retrospective effect of the declaration of invalidity and ii. an order suspending the declaration of invalidity for any period and on any conditions, to allow the competent authority to correct the defect. “ But in this case, firstly the declaration of made by the Gauteng High Court was on inconsistency with section 7 of the Schools Act – not the Constitution. And the possible alleged infringement which they claim to find was in terms of Gauteng Provincial legislation, not the Constitution or the Schools Act. So their declaration is already acting outside the scope of this authority and unlinked to their logical reasoning. Further, since only four of the six schools were in Gauteng, even if accepted, such reasoning would then not apply to the two schools in the Western Cape or the tens of thousands of schools elsewhere.

Secondly, the context of this exceptional discretionary power of the court is in context in the two examples that follow is meant to allow the court to mitigate or narrow the effect of their order to limit social disruption – not to expand their powers to declare anything they wish. So, for example, if they declare a law invalid, it allows them to give time to the government to put alternative legislation in place. If this clause is interpreted broadly to allow the court to issue any declaration they wish at their sole discretion, without the need to justify it, then they have created a loophole in the constitution, and now incrementally stretching that loophole, which means we are no longer living in a limited Constitutional democracy, but that activist judges are our new kings.

#SchoolsReligion and a 30% pass mark is going to produce some interesting dogma. e.g. Moses and the Three Commandments.

— Tom Eaton (@TomEatonSA) June 28, 2017

Thirdly, any discretionary power exercised by anyone must be very carefully justified in that instance to avoid it being abused and causing social harm. For example, in an emergency a traffic officer can close a road, but he cannot abuse such emergency power to close any road he wishes if there is an alternative less harmful remedy available. In this instance, the court has issued an unusually thin 35 page judgment, with hardly any motivation for why this extraordinary discretionary power is invoked except that certain other courts have invoked it before. The merit of these other cases is debatable, but, in these precedent cases cited, very detailed motivation was given which this court did not.

To put the matter in context, the precedent cases cited, had judgements double to four times the length over issues of comparatively trivial social impact. Of this 35 page judgment, about half of it is verbatim quotation from other cases or laws, leaving only about 17 pages of original reasoning, most of this explaining why they were not granting the 71 interdicts demanded by the atheist lobby group. Only two paragraphs refer to why this extraordinary discretionary power is invoked and the reasons in that are not much more than that it has been done before.

The reasoning for the substantive declaration is limited to a few paragraphs. They do not even refer to or weigh up the thousands of pages of expert witness and legal research placed before the court, by nine respondents and five friends of the court much of which would contradict their findings. One has to question whether in the space of only six weeks to issue this decision (which surprised all parties), they actually applied their minds to all this evidence – and that itself may be grounds to overturn it.

Further, they did not find any evidence of harm from the practice of single faith ethos, but only that “…but we think it could” make others ‘feel inferior’. But just about anything ‘could’ happen. How would you like a court to rule against you, without finding you had done anything wrong, but only that you ‘could’ potentially harm someone’s feelings?

And even if such harm was proved, the court is required in terms of the limitations clause 36(1)(e) in the Constitution to consider alternative “less restrictive means to achieve the purpose.”, which they did not. For example, a school promoting tolerance and reasonable accommodation of minorities, as most do. So without any finding of evidence of actual harm or infringement of rights, and without considering less restrictive means, the judges decide to abuse their powers, and engage in an act of social engineering – and such judicial abuse of power threatens everyone’s rights. The case becomes then not just about school religion, but about whether the courts have discretionary social engineering policy powers?

Unresolved interpretation and future disputes

Even if Van der Linde’s ruling was upheld by the higher courts, it would leave open major unresolved questions on the interpretation of what it’s limitation on ‘single faith’ religious ethos and observances are – opening the door for many more legal disputes that schools do not want. In its current wording the declaration only limits the school from branding or marketing itself as a particular faith ethos. The court did not rule on what a school could actually do internally in practice. This leaves schools vulnerable to endless litigation and legal intimidation from such lobby groups.

For example, South African schools have historically accommodated religious differences via ‘streaming’, rather than ‘multi-faith religious observances’ to which many people of faith have a strong religious conscientious objection. ‘Streaming’ allows a significant group from a minority religious group to hold alternative religious education or observances at the same time as the majority are having theirs. If this matter is not clarified, it will inevitably result in another court case. Reasonable accommodation via streaming is a much more acceptable alternative than requiring public schools to secularise or have ‘multi-faith’ religious observances.

Nevertheless, streaming is only practical for ‘observances’ and ‘religious education’ and does not resolve the full spectrum of educational ethos which implicitly affects every subject and activity in education. Here neutrality is impossible and thus the South Gauteng High Court ruling tends to favour secularisation and multi-faith ethos, and discriminate against single-faith ethos.

The current legal framework is working well, with no need to change it.

What should schools do?

The ruling will firstly almost certainly be appealed and until that is exhausted (which may take another year or two), it is not legally binding. Secondly, even if upheld its wording limits only promotion of a school as single faith ethos and not its internal practice. Schools should not thus make hasty changes in response to this decision. The ruling does however need to be challenged, both for the sake of governing body rights and to restrict judicial abuse of power in general.

Philip Rosenthal is the director of the public advocacy group, ChristianView Network.

Gareth van ZylGareth van Zyl June 29, 2017| atheistic lobby, BNT5, ChristianView Network, diversity, education, Organisation for Religious Education and Democracy, Philip Rosenthal, public schools, Religion, South Africa, South Gauteng High Court, Supreme Court

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conclusion

In conclusion, above are two newspaper reports surrounding a ruling handed down in the South Gauteng High Court pertaining to an application brought against six public schools in South Africa that have a Christian ethos and teach Christianity. This was followed by a rebuttal against the ruling by Philip Rosenthal and now we will conclude with the Word of GOD.

The real issue at hand is not about multi-religions, but the underlying issue is that the atheistic organization ‘ogod’ has an axe to grind with Christianity and against the Lord Jesus Christ. They do not want the Truth to be told in public schools, but want everyone to conform to the devilish teachings of Darwinian evolution and thereby place the onus upon the children to make misguided decisions of which religion to follow, if any. This is ogod’s attempt at promoting their atheistic-worldview of ecumenism which is Satan’s deception to lead those falling for his lie straight into Hell and the eternal lake that burns with fire and brimstone! Their religious equation looks like this:

atheistic-worldview [no GOD] + ecumenism [all gods] = No True GOD = Eternal Damnation!

The theory of evolution that is being taught in schools as ‘scientific’ is not observable in its ‘scientific macro evolution’ form – evolution from one form into another form for the missing links from one kind into another kind remain missing due to them having never existed and is therefore taught from artistic fanciful imaginations and impressions depicting what they think the science should look like. In essence it is a fairy-tale for grownups, if ever fairy-tales existed! It therefore remains exactly as it is described: ‘a theory.’ A theory is not fact as we can see from the following descriptions:

  • Factnoun. Something that is certainly true.
  • Theorynoun. (plural theories) 1. An idea or set of ideas put forward to explain something. 2. Ideas (contrasted with practice), different theories about how to bring up children. 3. The principles of a subject, music theory.
  • © The South African Oxford School Dictionary, compiled by Joyce M. Hawkins, Oxford University Press 1996

The theory (set of ideas) of evolution is a religion. It is the teachings and worship of the creation more than the Creator, for it is written,

18  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 
20  For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 
21  Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 
22  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 
23  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 
24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 
25  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. ~ Romans 1:18-25

The atheist wants everyone’s attention taken off of their Creator and placed on creation and to serve it. This is foolishness. If in the atheist’s interpretation that there is no GOD and everything evolved, then it does not take rocket science to understand that the various life forms have different flesh so how could all kinds (everything) evolve into different kinds from a single organism? The Word of GOD clearly explains the atheist’s quandary, for it is written,

38  But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every seed his own body.
39  All flesh is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds. ~ I Corinthians 15:38,39ff

Now to turn to judge Willem van der Linde who handed down the ruling in favour of the atheists, he has a lot to answer to GOD come the Day of Judgment when he will appear before his Creator Who is the True Judge of the Universe and have to give an accounting to the sovereign Ancient of Days. Willem van der Linde must repent of his wicked deed and rescind this ruling and confess his wickedness to his Creator GOD YEHOVAH and receive GOD’s Son Jesus Christ as his redeemer! This is Willem van der Linde’s only hope of escaping GOD’s damnation of his soul in Hell. He has sided with the Satanic agenda of the atheist lobby group ‘ogod.’ His ruling promotes the ecumenical religions of the deceived atheists, Roman Catholics, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, et al, that they have man’s law on their side to reject GOD’s Holy Word and HIS Laws. The way of everlasting life which is to be disciplined as a follower of GOD’s Son the Lord Jesus Christ, can ONLY be received through Jesus Christ the saviour of the world! For it is written,

1  These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 
2  As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 
3  And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
~ John 17:1-3ff

GOD tells us that HE will not give HIS glory to any other and that before HIM there were no god formed, for it is written,

8  Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it? ye are even my witnesses. Is there a God beside me? yea, there is no God; I know not any. 
9  They that make a graven image are all of them vanity; and their delectable things shall not profit; and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know; that they may be ashamed. 
10  Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? ~ Isaiah 44:8-10

The South Gauteng High Court ruling is encouraging all manner of gods to be encouraged in the education system when pupils are to be taught that which is true! As a result of this ruling it has put GOD on trial, HIS Word on trial and HIS Son Jesus Christ on trial. The schools who were brought before the court were Christian ethos schools – Christ following schools! GOD commands that, for it is written,

3  Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 
4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:3-6

The school system is already forcing children to learn about all religions in a subject known as life skills! Already the indoctrination of young minds is in the education system and parents have the right to determine what their children are exposed to and what they learn. Children are not the property of the state. Parents have the GOD given responsibility to raise them as GOD fearing, GOD honouring and GOD worshipping children, in the Name of Jesus Christ – “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). The Lord Jesus Christ exclusively stated that He is the way, the truth and the life, for it is written,

6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. 
7  If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also: and from henceforth ye know him, and have seen him.
~ John 14:6,7

With these words the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is GOD manifest in flesh (John 1:1,2,14), stated that He is the ONLY way, and the ONLY truth, and the ONLY life. He never said He is some way. The way is exclusive! For Jesus Christ said in Matthew 7, “13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” He never said He is some truth. The truth is exclusive! Truth is not subjective, one truth for one person and another truth for another person based on what they believe. Truth is not subjective but objective! To have truth is to have it 100%. If there is but 1% of untruth mixed in with what is perceived to be true, that 1% or smaller measure renders the other 99% untrue, for truth cannot be tainted with untruth for it will render the whole untrue! Jesus Christ said He is truth and in John 8 He said, “31 If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; 32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” And in verse 36, “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” And He never said He is some life. The life is exclusive! For it is written in John 3:36, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

The truth of the matter is that the god of this world Satan that wicked crooked devil is leading all deceived religious persons straight to Hell and one day they will find out that this place truly exists, then it will be too late! Today, while it is still today, throw yourself upon the mercy of GOD and have your “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21). This is your ONLY hope!

Soli Deo Gloria

“Eyes on Christ”

Eyes on Christ 

A WARNING in love, “Eyes on Christ” DOES NOT mean being in membership of –

– the Roman Catholic church;

– the 38,000+ Protestant Denominational churches;

– the Jehovah Witnesses, the Mormons, the Seventh Day Adventists, (add in your religion), etc.

IT IS NOT following the RC catechism classes, the Westminster confession, the Baptist confession, or any man made custom, tradition or confession of faith.

IT IS NOT following the Pope, Mary, Calvin, Arminius, your favourite pastor and theologian or any other guru or false teacher, or making and worshipping a ‘god’ of your own choosing which is idolatry.

IT IS NOT using God’s or Jesus Christ’s name to score religious piety. That is blasphemy.

IT IS ALL ABOUT JESUS CHRIST AND HIM CRUCIFIED, DEAD, BURIED, RESURRECTED AND ASCENDED TO THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER.

Sola Scriptura (“Scripture alone”);
Sola Fide (“faith alone”);
Sola Gratia (“grace alone”);
Solus Christus (“Christ alone”);
Soli Deo Gloria (“to the glory of God alone”)

Soli Deo Gloria

Tishri 15 . . . or December 25?

Birth of Christ

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year. The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

Published by Repent and Believe South Africa

Please visit the website for more information.

This tract may be copied for free distribution if it is copied in full

Gospel Tract Distribution in Alexandra Park

A panoramic view of the venue in Alexandra Park, Pietermaritzburg On Sunday 27 November 2016, I went to Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg to distribute Gospel literature at the “1st Annual Christmas Festival.”

'1st Annual Christmas Festival' poster Had some conversations with various faiths and denominations, inter alia Christians, Orthodox, Muslim, Hindus, an Indian Anglican that agreed that Anglicanism is very close to Roman Catholicism, and a very fruitful conversation with a Zimbabwean named Naison, whose wife is a ‘Methodist’, and who is looking for a place to fellowship! Judging from the various people groups who attended this secular “Christmas Festival” it would appear that the true Gospel of the true Christ was missing! It was just another commercialised money-making secular event that pampered to the world with their advertising an “inflatable water theme park, beer garden, snake shows, live band and night market”! All these activities pamper to the flesh! The Lord Jesus Christ is no-where to be seen in events of this nature! You cannot put the true CHRIST back into “Christmas” for He never was in it to begin with!

Set-up on Park Drive This event surely needed the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ! So i set-up on Park Drive to engage the ‘whosoever’ would be attending this event. Also had the privilege of a Hindu lady threaten taking the “Reincarnation . . . or Resurrection? ~ A Message to Hindus” tract to The Witness newspaper seeing that she is a Hindu as she pointed out! Writer did ask that if she did so that she must make sure that they quote the full tract in context! Please pray for Hindu communities to come out of idol-worship bondage! For GOD the Creator says,

4  Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: 
5  Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 
6  And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. ~ Exodus 20:4-6

A sample of our own printed tracts

TISHRI 15 . . .

OR

DECEMBER 25?

~ ‘Christmas’ is a Pagan Tradition ~

 

~ With Compliments ~

Repent and Believe South Africa CC logo

Gary Stephen Crous

Cell: +27 (0) 72 221 1233

E-mail: luke9.23evangelism@gmail.com

Website: http://www.luke923evangelism.wordpress.com

Introduction

The physician Luke’s account of the Gospel of Jesus Christ includes very pertinent information that none of the other Gospel writers have included in their accounts. It is not that Matthew, Mark and John had overlooked this information – it just appears that Almighty God gave Luke the insight of recording the historical and legal information for our benefit.

To say Scripture is silent concerning the birth of Jesus Christ is to not take the Author of the Scriptures, YEHOVAH, at His Word. Man is to live by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Mat. 4:4; Deut. 8:3), and he can truly know when the Christ child JESUS entered into this world – when God took on human form (John 1:1,14). From examining His Scriptures we can know when Christ was born. We will start with an important piece of information given to us as recorded by the apostle Luke in verse 1:5 of the Gospel – the word “Abia” (or “Abijah”). This is our referenced starting point and it is from here that we will calculate towards the birthdate of the Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

The Course of Abijah

From Scripture, the Levite priests of the sons of Aaron were allotted to serve at the Temple as recorded in the Law of Moses and these courses were divided into twenty-four divisions, as recorded in 1Chronicles 24:1-19.

Each course served for two weeks of each year, once in the first half and once in the second half of the Hebrew year.  The Temple priests also served collectively for three weeks during the year as commanded by God during the three pilgrimage festivals as recorded in Deuteronomy 16:16 “in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles”.

The Jewish Calendar

To calculate when the course of Abijah would appear in the year we need to first understand the Jewish calendar. The time period when Jesus Christ was born into this world, the Jewish calendar would be using the post exilic sacred months as recorded in the diagram hereafter.

The year starts off in the Hebrew month of Nisan (March/April) and the months are based on the lunar calendar of 30 days per month. The Jewish calendar would therefore equate to a 360-day lunar year. In accordance with the courses that the priests would appear in the Temple, the calculation would be:

MONTH

PRE- / POST EXILIC

OF YEAR SACRED / CIVIL

MODERN

EQUIVALENT

MONTHS

Abib / Nisan

1 / 7

March / April

Ziv / Iyyar

2 /8

April / May

Sivan

3 / 9

May / June

Tammaz

4 / 10

June / July

Ab

5 / 11

July / August

Elul

6 / 12

August / September

Ethanim / Tishri

7 / 1

September / October

Bul / Heshvan

8 / 2

October / November

Chislev

9 / 3

November / December

Tebeth

10 / 4

December / January

Shebat

11 / 5

January / February

Adar / Adar I

(Leap Year)

12 / 6

February / March

24 Courses multiplied by 2 Temple duties a year equals 48 weeks, plus the three pilgrimage weeks which totals 51 weeks.

The 51 weeks equate to 357 days which fits within the 360-day lunar year calendar.

As a result, the course of Abijah, i.e. the eighth course (1Chr. 24:10), would serve the tenth week during the first half of the year, as a result of the Passover/Feast of Unleavened Bread being celebrated starting on 14th/15th Nisan (Lev. 23:5-8) and the Feast of Weeks [Shavuot (Pentecost)] (Lev. 23:15,16).

Zechariah had his vision while serving in the eighth course of Abijah, which fell in the tenth week of the year, calculating from the month Nisan. As with the manner of women, we add two weeks to comply with the purity laws (Lev. 15:19,25) which brings the conception of John to be in or about the 12th week of the year. If John was born about thirty-nine weeks (nine months) later (for we are not sure of the exact day of conception calculated at about 39 weeks from Elisabeth’s last menstruation cycle) during the fifty-first week (12 + 39 = 51) that brings us to the birth of John at the Passover festival. Therefore, in God’s providence John the Baptist was born at Passover at the very time that Elijah was to appear.

The Seder Table and Elijah

During the Passover feast, Jewish tradition has a chair left open and a wine goblet set at ‘Elijah’s place’ at the seder (lit. set order) table, each year awaiting his arrival. A quote from a book titled Christ in the Passover sets out a traditional Jewish Passover seder table:

“Also at the seder table, beside each place setting are small wine goblets – small because four times they will be filled with sweet, red Passover wine during the seder. The custom of drinking four cups dates back to ancient Temple times . . . these four cups correspond to the four verbs in Exodus 6:6-7, describing God’s redemption: I will bring you out; I will free you; I will redeem you; I will take you to be My people.

“Two of the wine goblets at the table are usually larger and more ornate than the rest. They have silver, intricate pictures of the Bible history crafted into the metal. One of these goblets sits at the head of the table for the ruler of the feast; the other occupies a prominent place at the foot of the table, before an empty chair. It awaits the lips of Elijah, who, according to Malachi 4:5, is to announce the coming of the Messiah. The prophet is the invited guest of honor at every seder, for, should he come, it would indeed be the most festive of Passovers! The Messianic hope prevails more strongly at Passover than at any other time, for Midrashic tradition says: “Nisan is the month of redemption; in Nisan Israel was redeemed from Egypt; in Nisan Israel will again be redeemed” (Exodus Rabbah 15:12 Cf. chap. 6, 64-66).” (Christ in the Passover, Ceil & Moishe Rosen, Moody Publishers, Chicago, pages 82-83).

During the Passover, a child opens the house door to see if Elijah has “arrived”, to accept the invitation to come inside and announce the coming of the Messiah, and this is done every year as they await his “arrival”! We read in Scripture that John the Baptist came in the spirit and power of Elijah (Luke 1:17). At the transfiguration of Christ, Moses and Elijah appeared to Jesus and His disciples Peter, James and John, reading in Matthew 17:10-13

10And his disciples asked him, saying, Why then say the scribes that Elias must first come? 11And Jesus answered and said unto them, Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things. 12But I say unto you, That Elias is come already [see Matthew 11:14], and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. 13Then the disciples understood that he spake unto them of John the Baptist. [See also Mark 9:10-13 and Luke 9:33].

From the preceding calculations, Jesus was conceived by the Holy Spirit six months (about 26 weeks) after John the Baptist’s conception. For God’s Word says thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her” (Luke 1:36). Therefore, Christ Jesus was conceived about the 38th week around the festival Hanukkah. This means the “Light of the world” [John 1:9] was conceived during the festival of lights! Conceived, not born in flesh entering into the world, as the ‘Christmas’ man-made tradition dictates – there is a huge difference here!

To fulfill prophecies, God, being a God of divine order, is exact and precise in bringing His Word to pass, so too was the birth of His Only Begotten Son precisely “when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law” (Gal. 4:4).

Therefore, concerning God’s precise mandate and ordination of all things, Jesus was born thirty-nine weeks later (around week 76 from the preceding year’s month of Nisan; that is week 25 of the following year) which brings us to the autumn Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) in the month Tishri (i.e. September/October). God fulfills the prophecy of Isaiah (7:4) when He revealed Himself as God the Son, conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of a virgin and entered into this world as the God-Man? – “the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us” (John 1:14) – “Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Mat. 1:23).

The Feast of Tabernacles

It all points to the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot, Booths). A combination of two aspects – firstly, the taxing that Caesar Augustus decreed (Luke 2:1-4), and secondly, every Jew was required to come to Jerusalem for the Feast of Tabernacles (Deut. 16:16), and this would have resulted in Jerusalem being “booked out” where the Temple was situate as well as Bethlehem just five miles away. Therefore, it would be understandable that “there was no room for them in the inn” (Luke 2:7). We must remember that Jews attending the Feast of Sukkot would be residing in booths for the duration of the festival according to the Jewish Law.

In Genesis 33:17 ~ 17And Jacob journeyed to Succoth, and built him an house, and made booths for his cattle: therefore the name of the place is called Succoth*. [*That is Booths]

The Hebrew word for “booth” is [+] 5521 sukkâh, sook-kaw’: feminine of 5520; a hut or lair– booth, cottage, covert, pavilion, tabernacle, tent. A specialized usage is employed for booths constructed for the fall harvest festival (Lev. 23:42,43) which is known as the chag hassukkôwth, the Feast of Booths (Deut. 16:13,16). This reminded the Israelites that they lived in booths when the LORD brought them up from Egypt (Lev. 23:43).

Therefore, Joseph and Mary stayed in a booth during the Feast of Booths at the time of Jesus’ birth and not in a cave nor in a stable. His birth was on the first day of Sukkot, “The fifteenth day of this seventh month shall be the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD” (Lev. 23:34), and He was circumcised on the “eighth great day”. Shemini Atseret (“Eighth Day of Solemn Assembly”) is observed immediately after Tabernacles on 22nd Tishri, as laid down in the Pentateuch: “on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation . . . it is a solemn assembly (Atseret);” (Lev. 23:36; cf. Num. 29:35). The term Atseret was the original “Simchat Torah” (Rejoicing of the Law) which celebrated the Law of Moses. The Son of man entered the covenant (circumcised) on the day of “rejoicing in the Torah.” Sukkot is symbolic of God dwelling in a “tabernacle” (body) with us. John 1:14 reads ~ 14And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The Greek word “dwelt” is [+] 4637 – skēnoō; to tent or encamp, i.e. (figurative) to occupy (as a mansion) or (special) to reside (as God in the tabernacle of old, a symbol of protection and communion):- dwell.

The Shepherds of Bethlehem

8And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. ~ Luke 2:8

The word “abiding” is the only time that this word is used with the Greek word agrauleō [+] 63 – agrauleō; to camp out – abide in the field. The shepherds were camping out which would not be the case if they were in the Gregorian month of December. Winter would have set in and the latter rainy season would have commenced from late October and it would be unlikely that the shepherds would have their flocks out in the fields at night. When the rainy season started in the late fall, temperatures would also be freezing, the shepherds would have already brought their sheep in from the fields and sheltered them. The shepherds always bring their flocks in from the mountain slopes and fields no later than October 15th!

The Bible also states that winter is a rainy month: 11For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; ~ Song of Solomon 2:11. And in Ezra 10:9,13 we are told in “the ninth month” there was “the great rain” and “a time of much rain.” The ninth month referred to is Chislev (November/December).

Swaddling Clothes

Also note the “clothing” that the baby Jesus was wrapped in at the time of His birth which would not be appropriate for the middle of winter. We read pertaining the swaddling clothes:

6And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered. 7And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. ~ Luke 2:6,7

The Greek word for “swaddling” is [+] 4683 – sparganoō from sparganon (a strip from a derivative of the base of 4682 meaning to strip or wrap with strips); to swathe (an infant after the Oriental custom):- wrap in swaddling clothes. This reveals that Joseph and Mary were not only poor by the offering that they offered at the Temple, “a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24 and Lev. 12:6-8), but the clothes were also strips of wrap. From the evidence, the birth of Jesus Christ could not have been in the middle of winter.

The Wise Men

Another misconception about the practice of ‘Christmas’ is depicting the “three wise men” at the birth of Christ handing over three gifts to Jesus. This shows the inaccuracy that the world portrays during Nativity scenes, school and church productions of Jesus’ birth and on ‘Christmas’ cards, alike. We need to consult the Scriptures in Matthew 2:1-12, 16-18 to see the correct events as they happened concerning them coming to worship King Jesus. It would have taken them months to travel before arriving in Jerusalem, where they asked king Herod where is he that is born King of the Jews. When king Herod heard this – in order to fulfill Scriptures – “he demanded of them where Christ should be born” (Mat. 2:4b).

The shepherds were the first to see the baby Jesus lying in a manger and they broadcast the good news (see Luke 2:17,18) – the first evangelists!

A false depiction is given of the “three wise men” around the manger when the historical facts relate to two descriptions of Jesus. In the manger the word for “babe” is used [+] 1025 brephos, bref’-os; of uncertain affinity; an infant (properly unborn) literal or figurative:- babe, (young) child, infant. However, when we read the account of the wise men meeting Jesus, He is a “young child in a house” and the Greek word for “child” in Matthew 2:11 is [+] 3813 paidion, pahee—dee’-on; neuter diminutive of 3816; a childling (of either sex), i.e. (properly) an infant, or (by extension) a half-grown boy or girl; figurative an immature Christian:- (little, young) child, damsel.

At least two years had elapsed from the time the star first appeared to the wise men, and them informing king Herod, for when Herod saw that he was “mocked” by the wise men who did not report back to him, he fulfilled an ancient prophecy recorded in Jeremiah 31:15 when he “slew all the children that were in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under, according to the time which he had diligently enquired of the wise men.” So when the wise men saw Jesus he was not a babe, but a young child.

Conclusion

Based on all the true facts given in this document we should have absolutely nothing to do with a man-made pagan tradition such as ‘Christmas’. We are never commanded in God’s Word to celebrate the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ. However, we are commanded:

23For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: 24And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. 26For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come. ~ 1 Cor. 11:23-26

Soli Deo Gloria

________________

Footnotes:

[+] Strong’s Complete Word Study Concordance

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