Saturday, October 31, 2009
When we look at the world famous painting he did of the "Lord's Supper, there are so many things that are not correct.
to start with: 1)This particular Passover feast started when the first 3 stars were seen at the end of the day....in his painting it looks to me like there is a bright blue Roman sky, peeking through the window in the background.
2) Some of the people in the painting are wearing blue.... This was a very rare and expensive colour and only the rich and famous could afford to buy it and the disciples were poor fisher men and tax collectors they could not afford it.
3) At this meal they would be eating Lamb stew and drink wine, sure there would most likely be other meat too, but the main course was lamb!
All we can see on this table is some fish, and some cups and a most beautiful tablecloth...
4) The table itself is a wrong shape. It should be a "U" shape called a TRICLINIUM
This table was used for special occasions and they could relax and recline at it. It has three sides. The right side was the most important side the left side was for the servants.
So, obviously the table in the painting is not correct at all.
And, where Jesus is sitting, at this long table in the painting, is not the most important seat at all in Hebrew or Roman times.
And as I said before, they would not be sitting, but reclining, leaning on the left arm/elbow and eating with the right hand, as the right hand is always used for Blessings and eating.
So this is how it should have looked....
On the right side of this "U" shaped table, the important people would be seated, and opposite, on the left the servants would be seated. In this way the servants would be seated opposite the host, and they would be watching for signs from the host as to what they maybe should be doing!
So, when Jesus sent Peter and John out to look for a man who was carrying a jug of water, he told them, "Go to follow him and go to the home owner and say to him, The
teacher says he will celebrate the feast at your home, and there, he will show you a large upper room, furnished and ready, go there and prepare the feast"
This was a very big task for Peter and John as it had to be made spotlessly clean no left over bread crumbs with leaven in them was allowed...no leaven at all....
Now, you might remember in the previous week before the passover feast, the disciples were arguing about who should sit where....I should sit on his right or left...the important seat...so much so that Jesus tells them, when you are invited to a feast, don't go sitting in the most important seat for the host might say to you, go and sit there, in the least important seat, which is embarrassing for you, instead sit in the lowest seat, then the host could come and say to you, "Don't sit there, come and sit here..."
Gives us a new understanding of the seating arrangements.
So they arrive at the large upper room and Peter and John have done their work well.
Now next to the lowliest servants seat, on the table there is a jug of water and a towel. The servant is to wash the guests hands before they eat, as they get dusty and dirty.
As a matter of fact, they wash the hands several times during the meal.
We read that Jesus took off his outer garment and tied the towel around his waist and started to wash their feet beginning with the most important guest.
Obviously, none of the disciples had wanted to do it, so Jesus did it, but he washed their feet, which, in the Hebrew culture, were considered to be the most reprehensible, dirty, terrible part of the body. There are several indications thatthe servant who failed in his duty was Peter.
The reason for this is that it explains in the gospels, that, when Jesus came to Peter, the last one mentioned, Peter said, "Lord You cannot wash my feet..."
Then Jesus said, "If I cannot wash your feet you have no part in me..."
Now, the three seats on the right are the most important seats.
In the second seat, is where the host sits, in the first seat is where the youngest one sits. In this case it was John, who was the youngest.
Why did the youngest sit there? Well the host would be telling the story of the escape from Egypt and the youngest had to hear it all so he could listen and remember it...and the more the host told the better a story teller he would be....and they sang psalms too, mostly from 113 to 118 and they danced and were rejoycing as this was a happy feast.
So, if the first seat was for the youngest and the second seat was for the host, who was the third seat for?
The third seat was for the most honoured and important and trusted guest.
You see, as Jesus as host, was reclined at the table this most trusted friend/guest would be at his back, "guarding his back"....so to speak, that was why he was such a trusted guest.
Now, who was it that sat in this very important seat?
It was Judas......That was how, when Jesus spoke and said, " One of you will betray me..." and John, leaning into Jesus, who was behind him as they were reclined at this table, said, "Is it I Lord?"
Then Jesus said, They one who dips with me," and Jesus dipped into the sop and picked a choice morsel of lamb, and gave it to Judas, and said to him, "Whatever you do....do it quickly"
And Judas got up and left....
None of that would have been possible if the table and the customs had been different.
Can you now understand the thoughts that must have raced through Peter's head, when he saw Judas sitting there, in the most honoured seat, and the arguments they'd had the week leading up to this evening, and here he was, seated at the lowest part of the table, a lowly servant and Judas, in the most honoured seat of all?
The Lamb was the most important part of this meal, and what it stood for...
The blood of the lamb that was shed for them when they had to kill it and put the blood on the door posts, is not even visible in the painting!
No this painting is not at all proclaiming what the Lord's supper really is!
For more interesting video's on the Hebrew culture go to:
then click on "Current T.V. shows" you'll find them very interesting
Friday, October 23, 2009
"Why....we used to skate on miller's pond....and...I had a swing made from a tyre.....
I rode my black pony everywhere, even to school.....and we went blackberry picking out in the woods....."
The little girl listened....wide eyed, and at last she said, "Oh, that sounds like a lot of fun, I sure wish I'd gotten to know you sooner!"
A child's logic......
Teacher asked, "Who can give me a sentence about a public servant?"
So, little Joey wrote.... "The fireman came down the ladder, pregnant"
The teacher took him aside and explained to him... " Don't you know what "pregnant" means?"
"Sure," he said...."It means you are carrying a baby!"
THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY!
As I've matured, I've learned that....
You can't make some one love you......all you can do is stalk them....and hope they give in!
And, it takes years to build up trust, and it only takes suspicion, not proof to destroy it!
And, we are responsible for what we do...we make the choice....and I've also learned
that you should never compare yourself to others!
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
The following is a description of an incident that took place last Wednesday, 10-7-09, as described to me by Pastor Rob Madden on the very day it occurred:
When I witness to people I often ask, "If you were to die in the next five minutes, where would you go, Heaven or Hell?" Or when I'm teaching a class on soul-winning, I ask, "Would you be able to tell someone how to be saved if he had only five minutes to live?"
As soon as Pastor Rob wrote this to me, I knew I wanted to post his story to the site, both to give God the glory for allowing Pastor Rob and his wife to be where they were when they were and to acknowledge Rob and his wife's love shown to the young woman at the risk of their personal safety.
Well, I was tested on that today. As Brenda & I rode home from work, we noticed a car in the woods, all by itself. We thought it strange to see that. And then we both noticed smoke coming out of it. I pulled over, and as I walked toward it, I saw it was wrapped around a tree completely.
As I neared the car, I saw the silhouette of a head inside it. I yelled to my wife, "Brenda, call 9-1-1!"
I rushed to the driver's side, with the tree in the middle of the car, and somehow managed to get a part of my body into where she was. I wanted to see if she was dead or alive. Her legs were wrapped and distorted by the mangled steel around them. Her breathing was barely noticeable.
My heart started crying for this young person. I was yelling to passers-by to get help.
I ran to neighbours' houses, but no one was home. The road we were on is out in the sticks of South Mills, NC.
My wife was stopping any cars going by, because our cellphones weren't picking up any signals. I ran back to the car and noticed the girl wasn't breathing. I began to yell at her to wake up, because I wasn't going to let her die on my watch. I held her head with one hand, and grabbed her right hand, and started telling her that she couldn't die until I told her about Jesus Christ and His salvation that she could have.
By then, people were beginning to gather. Then she starting breathing as I shook her, and talked with her.
All she could do was fight me, and groan at me. She didn't wake up or talk; she just moaned and groaned. Blood was coming out of her right leg, which was mangled deep into the engine. I knew the vehicle could have ignited, but I knew I had to give her the Gospel message of God's glorious Salvation.
I wasn't going to let her die, if I could help it! Then she stopped breathing again, and I began to yell at her, "You have to let me tell you all the Gospel of God's saving grace!" I shook her, and pulled her hair out of her eyes, and I said, "You are the same age as my daughter. I need you to stay awake and talk with me."
I shook her again and again, and then suddenly she started groaning and moaning, still unconscious.
Close to 25 minutes had passed, during which she died several times but would come back as I shook & talked with her. With tears in my eyes, because all I could see was one of my children or grand-children, I kept telling her Christ loved her so much, that He wanted to save her from her sin and take her to heaven one day. I said, "But today isn't the day!" By then a firefighter who'd arrived told me to stay with her and keep her alive.
Because of the position I was in, outside/inside the car, I was losing my strength, especially in my legs. They were shaking profusely.
My wife saw what was happening to me, came up behind me and, with all her body's strength, supported me for around 10 minutes. By then, a Marine had stopped and he took our place.
Perfect timing. The Marines always come, just when you need them!
Ultimately, the emergency people came and took over. We were told to leave by a State Trooper (just doing his job). As we left, we were pretty confident that this girl was going to make it. The "jaws of life" were used for over thirty minutes to remove her from the mangled car.
God is good folks! A lady that was there around the same time as we were, told my wife, "Isn't God awesome? The first person on the scene happened to be a preacher! This girl and these people got to hear the Gospel!"
I can say a big AMEN to that!
Remember, people are dying all around us. Have we done our part to share the Gospel to them? Oh God, break our hearts over the lost & dying all around us!
Three times the young woman in the car stopped breathing, according to Rob, and each time his call to her was to remain with him that he could share the gospel of Jesus Christ with her. Praise the Lord!
Rob wrote to me the following day to update me on her condition:
Just an update on the accident. I called the NC highway patrol this morning and they told me she was medevaced to Norfolk Sentara in Norfolk, VA. The injuries to her body were mostly in the lower extremities area. After we left I was told that she was ornery & combative, in and out of consciousness. Probably because she had to listen to some loud-mouth preacher yelling to her "that she needed to repent & trust Jesus"!Thank God for loud-mouthed preachers and everyone who puts forth an effort to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, especially to a stranger in a worst-case scenario.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
You cannot be saved by being a 'good person':
"For by grace are ye saved through faith...Not of works, lest any man should boast." (Ephesians 2:8a-9 KJV)
And there are not 'many paths’ to God, there's only One:
"Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." (John 14:6 KJV)
The Bible tells us that everyone is a sinner:
"For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;" (Romans 3:23 KJV)
You must realize that there is a punishment for sin:
"For the wages of sin is death..." (Romans 6:23a KJV)
This does not mean only physical death, but also spiritual death:
"...fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell." (Matthew 10:28b KJV)
Jesus died on the cross for your sins:
"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8 KJV)
And then He rose from the dead, conquering death:
"Him God raised up the third day, and showed him openly;" (Acts 10:40 KJV)
Because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross, eternal life becomes a free gift from God:
"...by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life." (Romans 5:18b KJV)
"...the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 6:23b KJV)
But just like any gift, it doesn't become yours until you receive it. To receive God's gift of eternal life you must call on the name of the Lord:
"For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Romans 10:13 KJV)
Time is growing short and you should not put off your decision. The Bible tells us:
"(For he saith, At the acceptable time I listened to you, and on the day of salvation I helped you....behold.....now is the acceptable time....behold....now....is the day of salvation)" (2 Corinthians 6:2 NASB)
There is no other way to be saved than by Jesus, and there is no better time than now to receive salvation than right now!
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Monday, October 5, 2009
One of the greatest burdens I have as a shepherd of the Lord is, “Oh, God, how do I bring hope and comfort to believers who are enduring such great pain and suffering? Give me a message that will cancel their doubt and fear. Give me truth that will dry up the tears of the grieving and put a song on the lips of the hopeless.”
The message I hear from the Holy Spirit for God’s people is very simple: “Go to my Word, and stand on my promises. Reject your doubtful feelings.” All hope is born out of God’s promises.
I received a letter recently that contains a beautiful living illustration of this. It’s from a mother who writes, “My daughter is sixteen years old. She has a physical degeneration of her muscles, ligaments and joints, and is in extreme pain twenty-four hours a day. I lost my son to suicide in 1997 due to the same pain. He was twenty-two when, after nine years of suffering, he took his life. He couldn’t handle the pain.
“My daughter was a ballerina and was looking forward to going to Julliard School in New York City. But her dreams were shattered when she was stricken with the same disease that tormented her brother. The doctor said that her pain on a scale of 1 to 10 is at 14. The amount of painkiller needed to be effective for her would destroy her kidneys, so she can’t take the medicine.
“She loves the Lord, and is a joy to be around. She is a wonderful poet whose writings have appeared in over 15 publications, and she is listed in the ‘International Who’s Who in Poetry.’”
In the face of everything, amid a relentless shaking of body and soul, this mother and her daughter have put their hope in God’s Word to them. And he has given them peace.
Has the enemy tried to tell you that God has bypassed you? Have you been tempted to conclude that the Lord isn’t with you? Have you almost given up your faith? Put your hope in the Lord’s Word to you:
“I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5).