Sunday Jan 24, 2021
S3EP14 - Prostitution
Sunday Jan 24, 2021
Sunday Jan 24, 2021
Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 14 of The Berean Manifesto, 10 minutes or so a week of Faith, Hope, and Love for the modern Christian. This is Pastor Newms, still filling in for Pastor Bill (hopefully for not much longer) we need to continue to lift him up in prayers as he heals and learns to talk again. In this installment we are going to be talking about prostitution, but not in the way you probably think, after all Pastor Bill wrote this one not me.
We’re going to start off with a passage from Ezekiel 23, but fair warning after last weeks refresher of the Berean Lifestyle and encouragement to own your weekly study of the scriptures this episode might take some leg work for you to get the full amount out of it. Ezekiel 23:1-21 CSB, “ The word of the Lord came to me again:  “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother,  who acted like prostitutes in Egypt, behaving promiscuously in their youth. Their breasts were fondled there, and their virgin nipples caressed.  The older one was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They became mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. As for their names, Oholah represents Samaria and Oholibah represents Jerusalem.  “Oholah acted like a prostitute even though she was mine. She lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians: warriors  dressed in blue, governors and prefects, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding on steeds.  She offered her sexual favors to them; all of them were the elite of Assyria. She defiled herself with all those she lusted after and with all their idols.  She didn’t give up her promiscuity that began in Egypt, when men slept with her in her youth, caressed her virgin nipples, and poured out their lust on her.  Therefore, I handed her over to her lovers, the Assyrians she lusted for.  They exposed her nakedness, seized her sons and daughters, and killed her with the sword. Since they executed judgment against her, she became notorious among women.  “Now her sister Oholibah saw this, but she was even more depraved in her lust than Oholah, and made her promiscuous acts worse than those of her sister.  She lusted after the Assyrians: governors and prefects, warriors splendidly dressed, horsemen riding on steeds, all of them desirable young men.  And I saw that she had defiled herself; both of them had taken the same path.  But she increased her promiscuity when she saw male figures carved on the wall, images of the Chaldeans, engraved in bright red,  wearing belts on their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like officers, a depiction of the Babylonians in Chaldea, their native land.  At the sight of them she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea.  Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and defiled her with their lust. But after she was defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust.  When she flaunted her promiscuity and exposed her nakedness, I turned away from her in disgust just as I turned away from her sister.  Yet she multiplied her acts of promiscuity, remembering the days of her youth when she acted like a prostitute in the land of Egypt  and lusted after their lovers, whose sexual members[d] were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of stallions.  So you revisited the depravity of your youth, when the Egyptians caressed your nipples to enjoy your youthful breasts.”
God tells Ezekiel this story where He’s actually talking about the peoples of Samaria and Jerusalem. Most of you within the reach of this message are familiar with how the children of Israel grumbled in the desert and longed to go back into slavery in Egypt as they had in their youth. And generations later after they were past the desert and delivered into the promised land they split into the two peoples of Samaria and Jerusalem and ultimately lost sight of the Lord and fell into what God likened to promiscuity. Which in many ways it was because of the practices of those other religions and the fact that they "cheated" on God with others; all the gods around them.
Now were going to look at some excerpts from Ezekiel 16 just to get a better picture at what God is saying and then we’ll go back into some modern relevance for ourselves.
Ezekiel 16:30-34 CSB, “ ‘How your heart was inflamed with lust — the declaration of the Lord God — when you did all these things, the acts of a brazen prostitute,  building your mound at the head of every street and making your elevated place in every square. But you were unlike a prostitute because you scorned payment.  You adulterous wife, who receives strangers instead of her husband!  Men give gifts to all prostitutes, but you gave gifts to all your lovers. You bribed them to come to you from all around for your sexual favors.  So you were the opposite of other women in your acts of prostitution; no one solicited you. When you paid a fee instead of one being paid to you, you were the opposite.
Ezekiel 16:44-47 CSB, “ ‘Look, everyone who uses proverbs will quote this proverb about you: “Like mother, like daughter.”  You are the daughter of your mother, who despised her husband and children. You are the sister of your sisters, who despised their husbands and children. Your mother was a Hetite and your father an Amorite.  Your older sister was Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you, and your younger sister was Sodom, who lived with her daughters to the south of you.  Didn’t you walk in their ways and do their detestable practices? It was only a short time before all your ways were more corrupt than theirs.
Ezekiel 16:48-52 CSB, “ “ ‘As I live — the declaration of the Lord God — your sister Sodom and her daughters have not behaved as you and your daughters have.  Now this was the iniquity of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters had pride, plenty of food, and comfortable security, but didn’t support the poor and needy.  They were haughty and did detestable acts before me, so I removed them when I saw this.  But Samaria did not commit even half your sins. You have multiplied your detestable practices beyond theirs and made your sisters appear righteous by all the detestable acts you have committed.  You must also bear your disgrace, since you have helped your sisters out. For they appear more righteous than you because of your sins, which you committed more detestably than they did. So you also, be ashamed and bear your disgrace, since you have made your sisters appear righteous.
Ezekiel 16:60-63 CSB, “ But I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish a permanent covenant with you.  Then you will remember your ways and be ashamed when you receive your older and younger sisters. I will give them to you as daughters, but not because of your covenant.  I will establish my covenant with you, and you will know that I am the Lord,  so that when I make atonement for all you have done, you will remember and be ashamed, and never open your mouth again because of your disgrace. This is the declaration of the Lord God.’”
God did just what He said in Ezekiel 16:63, He came and made atonement as Jesus. In Romans 6 Paul teaches us that because of that atonement we are no longer slaves to sin and death, similar to how the children of Israel were no longer slaves in Egypt. Galatians 5:1-6 CSB says, “ For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm then and don’t submit again to a yoke of slavery.  Take note! I, Paul, am telling you that if you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all.  Again I testify to every man who gets himself circumcised that he is obligated to do the entire law.  You who are trying to be justified by the law are alienated from Christ; you have fallen from grace.  For we eagerly await through the Spirit, by faith, the hope of righteousness.  For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision not uncircumcision accomplishes anything; what matters is faith working through love.”
I think Paul was much nicer about it in Galatians 5 than God was in Ezekiel 16, but I digress.
And with that this is Pastor Newms saying, “Until next time… oh and dont forget we love yall”
Sunday Jan 17, 2021
S3EP13 - Berean Lifestyle
Sunday Jan 17, 2021
Sunday Jan 17, 2021
Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 13 of The Berean Manifesto: 10 minutes or so a week of faith, hope, and love for the modern Christian. I’m Pastor Newms of The Ekklesian House we are going to be continue building on the foundation of what we are and what we should be in the start of this year 2021 today we will be discussing The Berean Lifestyle.
Now for those of you that might have joined us later than other or this is one of your first broadcasts you are hearing from the Ekklesian house you might be wondering why the Berean Lifestyle. For those of you that have been with us for a while, here is my side and take on what Pastor Bill has taught on before. When this is what is written about the Berean’s in “Acts 17:10-12 As soon as it was night, the brothers and sisters sent Paul and Silas away to Berea. Upon arrival, they went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11 The people here were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica since they received the word with eagerness and examined the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. 12 Consequently, many of them believed, including a number of the prominent Greek women as well as men.”
Now I want to point out a few things from this scripture, first is that Berea is a place and the Bereans are the people there. I know that one was hard to get. Second, is that we will see that Paul and Silas went to the temple first as they normally did. Third, the people of Berean always ensured that they would search the scripture to prove teachings. This is something that is very important that we will speak on more in a few. Lastly, we will notice that many believed in Jesus including many Greeks which shows us that Paul and/or Silas also preached out the temple.
Now I really want to focus on the third thing that we talked about before. For all of you who thought just now… oh no which was the third, I got you. The people of Berea always ensured that they would search the scripture to prove teachings. Now one might say that they were sceptics, and the teaching of scripture should always be listened to, but I want look at two places where the Scriptures say to prove or test.
The first place I want to look at is 1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see if they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” Now we see here that John tells us to always test spirits because you don’t know where they come from. We have a lot of false teachers and/or people who just never studied trying to teach things that aren’t true. One I love to hear I still find myself using because of the idea, is “well you know the Bible says to Love the sinner and hate the Sin” well it doesn’t, per say. There is nowhere that I know of or can find that says that. We have places that say love everyone like Matt 5:43-44 and we have places that say to hate evil like Ps 97:10 but nowhere that compiles them. Now that is harmless one, but what about the people that teach that “God hates Gays” or “well you know sinners burn in hell”. We know that God loves all “John 3:16 For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” and that he forgives sin “Colossians 1:13-14 He has rescued us from the domain of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son he loves. 14 In him we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
Now I want to look at “2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, will multiply teachers for themselves because they have an itch to hear what they want to hear.” This verse sums up our day to a tee. We see this all around us in politics, friend groups, activists, and sadly the Church. We have a ton of churches that are not working together as the capitol C Church because of small doctrinal differences. As humans if we have no friends that disagree with us in any way how are we to grow in any ideologies. We won’t. The bible says in Proverbs 27:17 that “Iron sharpens iron, and one person sharpens another.” If we do not help our fellow Christians to sharpen each other and help to root out false teachings and bad doctrine we cannot hope to survive as a Church united during these to use a phrase I have begun to hate “these unprecedented times”
This is Pastor Newms, until next time…. Oh, and always remember we love y'all.
Sunday Jan 10, 2021
S3EP12 - Tithing
Sunday Jan 10, 2021
Sunday Jan 10, 2021
Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 12 of The Berean Manifesto; 10 minutes or so a week of faith, hope, and love for the modern Christian. I’m Pastor Newms of The Ekklesian House and in this installment we are going to take a look at tithing.
Now as you all know Pastor Bill is out of pocket with some extreme tooth pain. He is recovering but we need to continue to lift him up in our prayers. That being said, I am a lot different from Pastor Bill. I tend to be a little rougher around the edges so to speak. So just a heads up as we dive into this topic for the listeners that might not be able to join us in our weekly discussion times and might not know me.
So, for today we are going to looking at the old Testament because it is also good to start with the old and move to the new.
Malachi 3 starting in verse 10 in the CSB says, [“ Bring the full tenth into the storehouse so that there may be food in my house. (That’s The Church, His house.) Test me in this way," says the LORD of Armies. "See if I will not open the floodgates of heaven and pour out a blessing for you without measure.  I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not ruin the produce of your land and your vine in your field will not fail to produce fruit," says the LORD of Armies.  "Then all the nations will consider you fortunate, for you will be a delightful land," says the LORD of Armies.”]
So, we see here several things I want to point out. First, we see the word tenth instead of tithe... well that because tithe means tenth. Second, we see a promise, that God will pour out blessing from heaven to you. Now these blessings do not always mean money back. A blessing from heaven can mean a lot of things so this is not a give to God and He will make you rich. God ain’t no high yield savings account. Lastly, we see that one of the blessings from heaven is that he will rebuke the devourer and give you favor. Now we must think about whom the devourer is, if we look at the Hebrew word aw-kal which is literally to eat. Now this could mean several things like spiritual forces, bad times, or even famine. Personally, I feel it means the spiritual forces we fight against but even if it doesn’t, I want God protecting me from whatever might want to eat myself, family, or stuff.
Now I want to do something crazy and take a step back and look at the verse that is before Malachi 3:10-12 and take a look at Malachi 2:8-9 in the CSB which reads, [8 “Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing me!” “How do we rob you?” you ask. “By not making the payments of the tenth and the contributions. 9 You are suffering under a curse, yet you—the whole nation—are still robbing me.] Now these are some pretty harsh word that are used here but is it is not wrong. You see at the time Priests and their family only had what was given to the church to live off of and run the church. So, if you didn’t give to the church (at the time, the temple) then those people had nothing to live on and no way to get the temple serviced.
Now I know what you might be thinking, isn’t that the same today….. well yes it should be. But sadly, according to research* only like 10-25% of people depending on the church or organization are giving to the church. Only 5% of Christians are actually tithing and 80% of Americans only give 2%. Now that seems really low but I can make it worse, during the Great Depression Americans on average gave 3.3%. So, we as a body are literally giving less than during the great depression. Imagine with me what we could accomplish as a capital C church if we all tithed? How many more people could we show the love of God to?
Now I want to make 2 things clear right now. First, I am a Pastor but receive nothing from the Ekklessian house in terms of money and second, I am not trying to guilt anyone into giving to us.
You will remember that I said we would start in the Old and move to the New. Well now I want to look at 1 Corinthians 16:2-3, here Paul is writing to the church at Corinth and is writing about the fact that he is coming. He says: [ “ On the first day of the week, each of you is to set something aside and save in keeping with how he is prospering, so that no collections will need to be made when I come.”] When we look at this it shows that he does not want an offering taken up while he is there. I believe that is because he knows as he says in the first verse that people should be tithing, not giving out of feeling at the time of a message. So as Christians we should be tithing off of our increase.
This is Pastor Newms, until next time…. Oh and always remember we love y'all.
Sunday Jan 03, 2021
S3EP11 - Sabbath
Sunday Jan 03, 2021
Sunday Jan 03, 2021
Hello and welcome to season 3 episode 11 of The Berean Manifesto; 10 minutes or so a week of faith, hope, and love for the modern Christian. I’m Pastor Bill of The Ekklesian House and with this our first episode of a new year we are going to start with what I consider the most important aspect of the health of a Christian. The Sabbath.
The Sabbath is a day of rest after six days of work. Keeping the Sabbath is the third or fourth of the ten commandments (depending on your flavor of Christianity) given to Moses by God in the book of Exodus. In chapter 20, God called the seventh day of every week “a Sabbath to the Lord your God.” He goes on to explain that since He made everything in six days and then rested on the seventh day that He had blessed the seventh day and declared it holy. God was very serious about this commandment and even told the Israelites to put a man to death for collecting firewood on the Sabbath. From that point on the priests made a point of creating their own laws dictating what could and couldn’t be done on the Sabbath.
God made have had a hand in the formation of some of these laws, but clearly not all of them. I’m going to recount to you an event recorded in Matthew 12:1-14, Luke 6:1-11, and Mark 3:1-6. I’ve combined these three accounts from scripture into one passage, if you are following along and hear a discrepancy then it is info taken from one of the other two locations in scripture.
...On the sabbath day Jesus and his disciples were passing through a grain field, and being hungry they picked some heads of grain, rubbed the grain off the stems between their palms, and ate the grain. When the Pharisees saw what they were doing they criticized, “Why are you and your disciples breaking Sabbath law?” Jesus answered them, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry: how he entered the house of God, and they ate the bread of the Presence – which is not lawful for him or for those with him to eat, but only for the priests? Or haven’t you read in the law that on Sabbath days the priest in the temple violate the Sabbath and are innocent? I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. If you had known the meaning of the saying, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice, you would have not condemned the innocent.’ For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Then they entered the synagogue where there was a man whose right hand was shriveled. The scribes and Pharisees were watching Him closely, to see if He would heal on the Sabbath, so that they could find a charge against Him. But He knew their thoughts and told the man with the shriveled hand to stand up in front of everyone. The Pharisees asked Jesus, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” He replied “Answer me this: Is it lawful to do good on the Sabbath or to do evil to save a life or to destroy it? Who among you, if he had a sheep that fell into a pit on the Sabbath wouldn’t take hold of it and lift it out? A person is worth far more than a sheep; so it is lawful to do what is good on the Sabbath.” He searched their faces with anger, grieved at the hardness of their hearts and turning to the man said, “Stretch out your hand.” The man stretched his hand out and it was restored to the same condition as his other hand. The Pharisees, however, were already filled with rage and left seeking out the Herodians to plot with them on how they might kill Jesus...
The Sabbath was never about not working. It was about not working for self serving reasons that take your focus off of the Lord of the Sabbath. In the grain field the disciples had the Lord of the Sabbath with them. As do we. Hebrews 4:1-11 CSB says, “ Therefore, since the promise to enter his rest remains, let us beware that none of you be found to have fallen short.  For we also have received the good news just as they did. But the message they heard did not benefit them, since they were not united with those who heard it in faith.  For we who have believed enter the rest, in keeping with what he has said, ‘So I swore in my anger, ‘They will not enter my rest,’ even though his works have been finished since the foundation of the world.  For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in this way: And on the seventh day God rested from all his works.  Again, in that passage he says, They will never enter my rest.  Therefore, since it remains for some to enter it, and those who formerly received the good news did not enter because of disobedience,  he again specifies a certain day—today. He specified this speaking through David after such a long time: ‘Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.’  For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.  Therefore, a Sabbath rest remains for God’s people.  For the person who has entered his rest has rested from his own works, just as God did from his.  Let us, then, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall into the same pattern of disobedience.”
Romans 8:1-4 CSB says, “ Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus,  because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death.  What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering,  in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”
Choosing to set apart a Sabbath day of rest after 6 days of work is an outward sign of your inward faith. It’s a weekly confession of your belief that there is more to life than the confines of your physical existence. That you look forward to a coming eternity with The Lord. The tone of Hebrews 4 suggests that anyone who isn’t observing a Sabbath day of rest after 6 days of work probably isn’t actually a Christian and is living a life of disobedience to The Spirit. That’s when we arrive at verse 12 of Hebrews 4 when the author then reminds everyone that you can’t hide your true intentions from God, “For the word of God is living and effective…” “…It is able to judge the thoughts and the intentions of the heart…” and that “No creature is hidden from him, but all things are naked and exposed to the eyes of…” The Lord. You can lie to yourself, but not The Lord.
This is Pastor Bill saying, “Until next time…”