4Jesus Outreach

Proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ.


3 Comments

Did Jesus Use Hyperbole?

Questions & Answers

Questions & Answers

QUESTION:

I was disturbed when I read Matthew 18:9, “And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell.” I don’t believe Jesus was teaching us that we need to literally pluck our eye out, was He? I assume it had to do with sin in our lives and doing whatever it takes to get rid of it. Am I right about this?


ANSWER:
Yes of course you’re right. We need to realize that Jesus used hyperbole in many of His teachings and these images were not to be taken literally. A hyperbole is a figure of speech that uses an exaggerated or extravagant statement to create a strong emotional response. Some familiar examples of hyperbolic statements would include:

“He’s got tons of money.”

“He is older than the hills.”

“I’m so hungry I can eat a horse.”

“His brain is the size of a pea.”

“My feet are killing me.”

In regards to Jesus’ statement regarding “plucking out your eye” (Matthew 18:9), we know the Lord did not intend this to be taken literally. The Bible condemns self-mutilation or inflicting woundHyperboles on your body, which is the temple of God. The Roman Catholic Church, for instance, has encouraged the practice of self-flagellation (imitating the sufferings of Jesus) for centuries on their “Good Friday” holiday. They believe that scourging their backs with whips or placing a crown of thorns on their heads until their blood runs down is pleasing to God, when in fact He disapproves of it completely.

Other examples of the use of hyperbole by Jesus in His teachings are found elsewhere in the gospels. One involves His statement:

“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, ‘Raca,’ (You vain fellow) is answerable to the court. And anyone who says, ‘You fool!’ will be in danger of the fire of hell.” – Matthew 5:22

Although we should most certainly avoid cursing other people or calling them harmful names when we are angry at them, I don’t believe that God would send you to hell for calling someone a “fool.” Neither is the sin of visually or intensely lusting after a woman (or man) the same as actually committing the physical act of adultery with her.

Jesus used exaggerated or extravagant statements (hyperbole) to emphasize the point He was trying to drive home in His teachings. They are not intended to be taken literally, in most cases, but analyzed in view of the essence of the message.

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
www.LuisJosephus.com
EMAIL US

——-

comment_smCOMMENT FROM DONNA:

“Another great explanation of God’s Word. As I understand it, the word “fool” as used in the Bible would be best defined as someone who refuses to do as instructed. For instance, the five foolish virgins were foolish because they did not listen when they were told to bring extra oil. (Matthew 25:1-13). By using this definition of “fool”, (someone would have to be foolish not to listen to God’s wisdom), we can better understand what the Bible means when someone is called a fool. When we call someone a fool, it is equal to condemning that person, saying that we believe that person is condemned as a fool for not listening to God’s instructions.”

comment_smCOMMENT FROM BROTHER LUIS: “Amen Donna. A fool is indeed a fool for not listening to God’s instructions. God has given us His Word to provide wisdom and protect us from making mistakes. If we don’t take His fatherly advice, how foolish is that?”



FOR FURTHER STUDY:

The Use of Extreme Language By Jesus
http://www.voiceofjesus.org/extremelanguage.html


2 Comments

Rebuke a Wise Man

A Wise Man_jpg

“Do not correct a fool or he will hate you; correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.” – Proverbs 9:8

Do you love God? I’m sure you do.

Do you love your church pastor?
Ah, maybe you have to think about that question some more. You see, too many Christians do not fully recognize that their local church pastor  or elder is God’s representative and spiritual authority over your life. They have been given the responsibility to look after you…to teach you and disciple you and protect you from straying away from God’s flock or making mistakes that will hurt your relationship with Jesus Christ.

Your local church pastor is your overseer (1 Peter 5:12). His is the ruling shepherd in the church and is accountable to God for you under the “Chief Shepherd” Jesus Christ. Their job is to feed you the Word of God, guide you in your spiritual walk, and guard over your souls.

Loving Reproof

It is also a pastor’s job to correct you when you’re doing something wrong. Some believers don’t like this part of a pastor’s function, but it is a biblical fact. Reproof and rebuke is often necessary for all of us. When your pastor reproves you, don’t get angry at him or falsely accuse him of being unloving. If he cares enough to correct you, he is demonstrating the same love that God has for you:

“For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son [or daughter] He receives.” – Hebrews 12:6

The Greek word used here for “chastening” is paideia. It not only carries the nuances of “discipline,” “rebuke,” and “correction,” but also the positive connotation of “training” and “guiding instruction” by a loving parent to bring their son or daughter to mature adulthood.

When a pastor chastens us for something that needs to be corrected in our lives, we should do the right and wise thing and accept his correction with humility. We should recognize that He loves us and desires to see us achieve our fullest potential in Christ.

“Reprove not a fool, lest he hate you.” The fool, on the other hand, does not respond well to reproof or discipline. He faints when being rebuked and becomes angry and resentful towards his pastor or God. The fool is destined to never learn from his mistakes or reach any spiritual maturity. Some are so prideful they will actually leave the church when reproved and fall away from God.

”… rebuke a wise man, and he will love you.”

The wise Christian doesn’t get their feelings hurt when reproved by their pastor because he regards the Lord’s discipline as evidence of his pastor’s love and concern. He sees God’s grace and commitment to us as our Father in his actions.

” Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are trained by it.” – Hebrews 12:11

When we receive correction from those in church authority – such as a pastor or elder, instead of getting mad, let us remember the admonition of Jesus who declared that whom He loves, He rebukes. Instead of sulking in self-pity, let us repent quickly and learn to love reproof.

” As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.“ – Revelation 3:19

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
www.LuisJosephus.com
EMAIL US

 


3 Comments

Except You Abide in the Vine

“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine, no more can you, except you abide in Me.” – John 15:4

In the parable (allegory) of the vine tree, Jesus compares Himself to the “True Vine” because when we come to salvation, we are spiritually born again and given a special position as a branch on the Tree of life, which is Jesus the Messiah. He alone is the only Savior that can give us eternal life; all others are false prophets and false religions.

God the Father, on the other hand, is the “husbandman” (the farmer) that cultivates us as branches on the vine and tends to our care. He waters us every day, prunes our twigs, trims our leaves, and makes sure we are receiving the right amount of sunshine and nutrients from the ground.

But Jesus reminds us that unless we continue to abide in Him, we cannot bear good fruit or flourish as one of His branches, since a branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless we abide in the source of nourishment – the tree.

To abide comes from the original Greek word, menō, which means: to remain, continue, abide or live in. If the branch is broken, snapped or disconnected in any way from the vine or tree, the life-giving support cannot continue to flow. Without the tree’s nourishment, the branch will eventually wither and die. Likewise, the life of Christ can only continue to flow in us as long as we abide in Him by:

  • Studying the Word of God daily, keeping it continually in our hearts and minds, and letting it guide our lives.
  • Maintaining the habit of prayer and communion with the Holy Spirit in order to draw new and fresh strength from Him.
  • Obeying God’s commandments and endeavoring to live pleasing to Him.
  • Attending church regularly and loving the fellowship of the brethren.
  • Witnessing for Jesus everywhere we go and helping to bring lost souls to salvation.

We will continue to abide in Christ if we follow the above guidelines. As we do, we will also continue to bear the kind of good fruit He desires from us as His disciples and remain eternally secure in our salvation.

“I am the vine, you are the branches; he that abideth in Me, and I in him,” Jesus said, “the same brings forth much fruit [not some fruit, but much fruit]. For with Me you can do nothing.” – John 15:5

– Luis Josephus

Logo_75 x 75_jpgLUIS JOSEPHUS MINISTRIES
www.LuisJosephus.com
EMAIL US

– – – – – – – – –

Comment from Donna: “This morning I was thinking about being grafted into the vine and what it means. I was thinking of the fact that the power that flows from the vine to us is LOVE. It is his love that gives us life. That is what the two great commandments were all about: LOVE. It’s not about what we do, per say, it is about how we LOVE God first and then others. All the instructions that you gave for abiding in the vine can be summed up in: LOVE GOD, LOVE OTHERS. May the Lord truly bless you for your service to Christ!”

– – – – – –

Free Booklet, “Grace For Today.”

Grace For TodayOrder your free devotional booklet “Grace For Today” by Pastor Luis Yosefus which contains many more inspirational messages written to encourage your life and enhance your understanding of God’s Word. Simply email us your postal address and we will mail it to you free of charge at no obligation.


Leave a comment

Doing the first works

Bible_man_reading_1“Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love. Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works…” – Revelation 2:4-5.

Jesus is speaking to many of us through this letter to the Church of Ephesus who had “lost their first love.” These Ephesians church members were still blood-washed, born-again believers, but they had lost the excitement and devotion they once had for Jesus. Remember when you first got saved; how excited you were about God?

Spiritual backsliding is a common problem in the church. After years of walking with God, many of us may slowly begin to neglect spending quality time with God or even going to church. Our faith becomes lukewarm and we might also backslide morally. The solution for correcting this problem, Jesus said, is to remember therefore from where we have fallen; repent, and do the first works again.

Since the first step is to repent, we need to acknowledge our sins to God and ask Him to forgive us. He is always merciful and faithful to forgive us, and to cleanse us, once again, from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

Secondly, we must start from scratch in our faith and “do the first works” we once did in the beginning. What are the first works?

  • Studying the Bible daily.
  • Spending quality time in prayer and hearing God’s voice.
  • Going to church regularly and saturating your spirit with sound biblical teaching, and collective praise and worship.
  • Fellowship regularly with other believers.

If you have lost your first love, or drifted away from God, or fallen into immoral sins, don’t give up on Jesus, because He hasn’t given up on you. He still loves you dearly and desires to restore you back to Himself. All He asks is that you Repent, Confess, and “Do the first works” again. He will restore your life with His abundance of peace and joy.

– Luis JosephusRealJesus Logo+75x75

REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesusLife.com

EMAIL US

– – – – – – – – –

comment_smComment from Pastor Emeka: “Dear Pastor Luis Yosefus, thanks for your newsletter. I am inspired and encouraged by your messages and revelations of the word of God. I am a pastor of a small fellowship in Corby, United kingdom (People for Christ Ministries).


Leave a comment

Did Jesus have long hair?

Jesus_long hairWe actually don’t know what Jesus looked like since there is no archaeological record depicting His appearance dating back to the first century. In addition, the early Christians abstained from making graven images less they find themselves committing the sin of idolatry:

“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: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God…” -Exodus 20:4-5

Therefore, none of the early disciples captured Jesus’ likeness in any form.

It was only after hundreds of years later that images appeared of Jesus when segments of Christianity were corrupted by the Roman Catholics. During this period, graven images, statues, and paintings were made of Jesus. By that time, no one really remembered what He looked like. These images typically depicted a blonde haired, blue-eyed Jesus, or with European features. However, they were based on the artist’s faulty imagination.

Although it is possible that Jesus had long hair as a “Nazarene” (Matthew 2:23), long hair on men was not the normal hairstyle in the Jewish culture. “The Jewish texts ridiculed long hair as something Roman or Greek,” said New York University’s Lawrence Schiffman (Jesus Scholars Find Fault in Mel Gibson’s ‘Passion’”) (1 Cor. 11:14)

It is more likely that Jesus looked like the average Jew of His day with dark brown hair or black, cut relatively short, traditional Jewish beard, and Semitic facial features. He was not the sometimes effeminate-looking man that is commonly pictured in paintings. Since He was a carpenter and a builder, He was most probably muscular and tanned from working long hours outdoors cutting down trees, hauling rocks, and constructing buildings from stone and timber.

– Luis Josephus

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
EMAIL US

How did the resurrected Jesus appear in John’s vision?
SEE: Revelation 1:9-20


Leave a comment

Hanukkah Verses Christmas

Mosaic of Maccabee Revolt: Faithful Jews cleanse the temple of pagan defilement and restore the worship of the one true God.

Mosaic of Maccabee Revolt: Faithful Jews cleanse the temple of pagan defilement and restore the worship of the one true God.

More and more born-again believers in Jesus Christ [Messiah] are now celebrating Hanukkah each year instead of Christmas. They have discarded the pagan practice of observing “Christ-Mass” and begun to observe Hanukkah instead in a New Testament context. For more information on the fallacy of Christmas observance, read our article: “Was Jesus really born on December 25th.”?

Hanukkah’s historical origin.

The Hanukkah holiday we celebrate this week originally commemorated the defilement of the Jewish temple in 167 B.C. by the Roman ruler Antiochus IV Epiphanes when he attacked Jerusalem, purposely sacrificed a pig (and other abominable creatures to the Jews) on the temple altar, and forced everyone to worship Zeus, his pagan god.

A small number of faithful and heroic Jews, known as the Maccabees, fought back and regained control of their temple from the Roman invasion. Immediately they cleansed the temple and restored the worship of the one true God, Yahovah.

The miracle associated with Hanukkah occurred when the Jewish priests only had enough oil for the Candelabrum to give them one day of light. But they prayed in faith, and God miraculously made the oil last for eight days until more oil could be produced. Thus, the significance of the eight days of Hanukkah where one new candle is lit everyday. The ninth candle is called the “Shammash” (Hebrew: Servant), used to light all the other candles.

New Testament meaning of Hanukkah.

Hanukkah should remind us that our bodies should be cleansed daily of any spiritual defilement because we are the personal dwelling place of the Holy Spirit. Let us live in such a way as to honor and please God with our bodies. When you commit sin, you must confess it quickly and ask God to forgive you and cleanse you once again from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

– Luis Josephus

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net
RealJesusMinistries@gmail.com


2 Comments

Is Jesus the only way to God?

The Antichrist will unite all world religions into one and cause all who follow him to be condemed forever.

Could the future Antichrist claim to be the Christian Jesus, the Jewish Messiah, the Islamic Mahdi, the Buddhist Maitreya and the Hindu Kalki all at the same time? Could this be what happens when all of the major religions merge into the one world religion prophesied in the book of Revelation? The Bible predicts that the Antichrist will unite all world religions into one and cause all who follow him to be condemned forever.

Years ago before I received Jesus as my Savior and Lord, I experimented with other religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age Metaphysics, the Occult, and others. One of the common threads of all these pseudo-religions was the prevalent false teaching that “All paths lead to God. It doesn’t matter what you believe as long as you believe in god.” Of Course, nothing could be further from the truth. There is only ONE GOD and only ONE WAY to find Him – through Jesus Christ His Son. Only Jesus was the true Messiah, who as the Holy Lamb of God, sacrificed His life for the remission of our sins.

When I became a Christian and began to closely study the Bible. I realized that I had been deceived for many years by these counterfeit religious ideologies that had professed to show me the way to God. Even today, I often come across Muslims, for instance, who tell me, “You and I worship the same god. ‘Allah’ is the same god as your Christian God.” I quickly correct them, “No sir, he is not! The God of the Jews and Christians is not the same god you Muslims worship. The only true God, the Creator of heaven and earth is not Allah, but Yahovah. You are worshipping a false god, I’m sorry to say.” Muslims usually get offended when they hear this, but the truth is often hard to accept at first. Afterwards I always pray for their blinded eyes to be opened.

God’s way is narrow.

Yehovah God sent His only begotten Son into the world to be the sacrificial Pesach (Passover) Lamb that can take away our sins and reconcile us to the true and only God. You can follow some other (false) god if you wish, but you will deceived into following the broad road to destruction. There is only one true path to God – through His Son Jesus Christ the Messiah. Jesus declared, “…No man comes to the Father, but by Me.” (John 14:6). Perhaps you may think that is dogmatic and narrow-minded. I have to admit that it is, but it’s simply the truth. True Christianity is the only religious belief system that will bring you to God.

Man’s free will to choose right and wrong.

Now, you don’t have to follow the narrow way to salvation; you’re free to follow the broad road to destruction if you choose. God created man with a free will and allows you to reject the truth and believe anything you wish. If you persist in rejecting the right way He won’t stop you from making an eternal mistake. But He desires that none should perish but that all men should come to salvation.

“The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent.” – 2 Peter 3:9

However, if you want salvation, you must come to God on His terms, not yours. You have to accept Jesus as the only true way to God or you’ll be lost. That’s just the way it is.

We cannot be saved by our own good works either.

Living a moral life, or performing good deeds is always important, but they still cannot save us. But even good deeds and a moral life can never produce the perfect righteousness that God requires for salvation. Only Jesus was sinless and perfect, and only by placing your trust in His imputed righteousness can save you. Don’t make the mistake of trying to earn your way into heaven, it’s simply impossible; that’s why God gave us the gift of Jesus.

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us” -Titus 3:5.

It is by “grace through faith in Jesus that we are saved. It is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast” – Ephesians 2:8,9.

The minute you and I place our faith in Jesus’ substitionary death on the cross on our behalf, the way to God is open. It is the only way we can be saved.

Anyone can come.

Jesus invited everyone to come to salvation. He said, “If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.” – John 7:37. This is an all-inclusive invitation to all human beings. None are excluded except those who exclude themselves. Even the worst of sinner can be forgiven if they will repent. The Lord Jesus gives only one condition: “If any man thirst.” If you’re thirsting for salvation and the only true God, He asks you to simply come to Him. He is the only One that can satisfy you innermost desire.

Prayer of Salvation:

Pray this prayer right now with all sincerity….

“Lord Jesus, I believe You are the Son of God, the Messiah of both Jews and Gentiles. I believe that you sacrificed your life on the cross of Calvary to pay the penalty for my sins. I repent of my sins. Please forgive me. Today, I receive you as my Savior and Lord. Fill me with Your Holy Spirit and help me to live my life for You, from this day forth, amen.”

If you prayed this prayer just now, please email us and let us know. We want to rejoice with you and send you some free resources to help you grow in your new Christian faith.

RealJesus Logo+75x75REAL JESUS MINISTRIES
www.RealJesus.net

RELATED MESSAGES:
Did Rahab the prostitute become a virtuous woman?
Are you really saved?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Comment from Jeff Brown: “Great word as always brother Luis! Our Heavenly Father has lovingly reached out His hand to each of us and through Christ has made a way that all may be saved! Only those who say “no” will be sent away to an eternity of their own choice and it’s just so terrible! No one would choose it if they knew the truth which is where we come in…I pray for fresh winds to blow into both of our missions, that the truth would be told from the highest mountains! In Jesus Mighty Name I ask it!”

– Jeff Brown, http://altonwoods.wordpress.com

– – – – – – – – – – –

Click below to listen
to this audio message:
http://chirb.it/FnKxz0