….dezleaga lanturile rautatii…. si nu intoarce spatele semenului tau…

Postul placut Domnului – Isaia 58

6. Iata postul placut Mie: dezleaga lanturile rautatii, deznoada legaturile robiei, da drumul celor asupriti si rupe orice fel de jug;
7. imparte-ti painea cu cel flamand si adu in casa ta pe nenorocitii fara adapost; daca vezi pe un om gol, acopera-l, si nu intoarce spatele semenului tau.
8. Atunci lumina ta va rasari ca zorile, si vindecarea ta va incolti repede; neprihanirea ta iti va merge inainte, si slava Domnului te va insoti.
9. Atunci tu vei chema, si Domnul va raspunde, vei striga, si El va zice: „Iata-Ma!” Daca vei indeparta jugul din mijlocul tau, amenintarile cu degetul si vorbele de ocara,
10. daca vei da mancarea ta celui flamand, daca vei satura sufletul lipsit, atunci lumina ta va rasari peste intunecime, si intunericul tau va fi ca ziua in amiaza mare!
11. Domnul te va calauzi neincetat, iti va satura sufletul chiar in locuri fara apa si va da din nou putere madularelor tale; vei fi ca o gradina bine udata, ca un izvor ale carui ape nu seaca.

John MacArthur – Isaiah 53 The Riddle of Redemption

Pentru traducere automata, fa click aici – Romanian

Message from – Moody Founder’s Week 2013
Watch/read D A Carson’s message at Moody Founder’s Week 2013 here – When Jesus confronts the world 

Watch/read Tony Evans’s message at Moody Founder’s Week 2013 here – There is no more important place to know Christ than the struggles of lifeisaiah scroll
This is about Christ, and about knowing Christ. Martin Luther said,”There’s a chapter in the Bible that every Christian should memorize, if that Christian intends to know Christ.” The German theologian, in 1866 said, „There is the chapter of the Bible, that is the most central, the deepest, the loftiest that Scripture has ever achieved. That same chapter, others have called ‘The Gospel of all vocabulary’. There’s a chapter in the Bible that has such stirring predictions, so complex, that only God could have known them centuries before history unfolded them. There’s a chapter in the Bible that is the most comprehensive exposition of the cross in all of Scripture, the most complete description of the substitutionary vicarious sacrificial death of the Savior in all of Holy writ. This same chapter has a scope that extends from eternity past to eternity future, and gathers up a whole history of redemption by focusing on the redeemer. It sweeps from His position in the eternal trinity to His return to full glory with His redeemed in the new heavens and the new earth. There is a chapter that embraces His past glory, His incarnation, His humiliation, His rejection, His unjust treatment, His unfair trial, His mistreatment, His death sentence, His execution, His resurrection, His intercession, His exaltation, and His coronation.

What is this chapter? It is the first Gospel, and it’s not Matthew. Matthew is the second Gospel. This is a chapter that is sufficient to save sinners. In fact, it is a chapter that was used by Philip to explain the Gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch. This is a chapter that you know. It is Isaiah 53- the first Gospel.

The description of the atoning work of Jesus Christ in Isaiah 53 surpasses any single Scripture on those subjects in the epistles of the New Testament. Let me tell you about Isaiah. 66 chapters, same as the number of books of the Bible. It’s split into two parts: the first 39 and the second 27. Exactly the way the Bible is split: Old Testament 39 books, New Testament 27.

The first 39 are about judgment, much like the Old Testament. The last 27 chapters (of Isaiah) are about redemption, just like the New Testament – Salvation. The last 27 are divided into 3 – 9 – 9 – and 9. The first 9 is about the physical salvation of Israel, the last 9 are about the physical salvation of creation. And the middle 9 is about the spiritual salvation of sinners. (8) So, let’s go down into the middle 9, and the middle chapter is chapter 53, and the middle verse, essentially, is, „He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our inequities.” The Holy Spirit forces us right down into this incredible chapter. Isaiah 53 has been called the torture chamber of the rabbis. It has been called the guilty conscience of the Jews. And it is that. They run from this chapter like the black death.

This chapter, stepping back in history and the place that it occupies in Scripture, this chapter answers the most critical question that will ever be asked or answered, ever, by anyone, anytime. The most essential question, the most important question is answered by this chapter. Religion must answer this question correctly or it is form hell. Any religion that does not give the right answer to this question is right out of hell. What is the question? It’s the riddle of the Old Testament. Did you know there was a riddle in the Old Testament? Turn to Exodus 34. Moses comes before God and wants God to assure him, he wants God to show up and reveal His glory. In Exodus 34:5 we read „the Lord descended from a cloud and stood there as he called upon the name of the Lord.” Now, the Lord is going to introduce Himself. „The Lord passed by in front of Him and proclaimed, „The Lord God, compassionate, and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in loving kindness and truth, who keeps grace, loving kindness for thousands, who forgives iniquity, transgression and sin.” And, by the way, „He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.” That’s the riddle of the Old Testament.

That’s the riddle of redemption. How can God be gracious and punish the guilty? The answer to that is Isaiah 53. He will punish someone else. How can God, in the words of Paul, be just and the justifier of sinners? That is the question: How can a sinner be reconciled to a holy God? How can God love and bring to heavenly glory, sinners, without violating his righteousness? That is the question. If the right answer to that question is SAVED, then every other wrong answer DAMNS. That’s why I say that whoever doesn’t answer that question accurately is from hell. One more thing to say, about Isaiah 53. Just by way of introduction, if we think about it, this is a paralyzingly sad chapter. I don’t know of a sadder moment in all of redemptive history than the moment depicted in this chapter. It is horrific, beyond comprehension. This starts out as the most plaintive lament, the most extreme expression of sorrow. It is a kind of epic dirge. It is a funeral song with massive, sweeping implications. The crushing sorrow that is depicted in Isaiah 53 has no historic parallel, exceeds all other sorrows. (13:25)

The astonishing revelation

We start back in Isaiah 52 at verse 13. And, everything about this section is astonishing, absolutely astonishing. To start, in verse 13 we come to the very words of God. This section begins and ends with God speaking. God speaks in 52:13-15 and speaks half way through verse 11 and verse 12. So, what happens in the middle is bracketed by the words of God. God introduces and God sums up what’s in this great chapter. In 52:13-15, God Himself introduces the Messiah. He introduces His servant, His slave. First, it is an astonishing revelation. By the way, this is the 4th chapter that focuses on the servant or slave of God- the Messiah- vv. 42, 49, 50, 53. All servant songs, slave songs of the slave of God. He introduces Him: Behold because it is astonishing. „My slave will succeed”. Any reader of the Old Testament knows that that’s a Messianic title. Going all the way back to chapter 42, this is the Messiah. (15:29)

He will prosper. Actually, in Hebrew it is ‘act intelligently, act wisely’, succeed. It’s important that we understand that’s how God introduces this, because when He came, it looked like He didn’t succeed. It looked to the world like He failed. Then He begins to introduce Him. He will be high and lifted up, and greatly exalted. That identifies Him. Well, you say, isn’t that just repetitious? No, in the Hebrew, here’s what it says: He will be high, He will be higher, He will be highest. And those 3 designations in combination, only appear in one other place in all of Scripture. And those three designations refer to God. They only appear together in one other place- Isaiah 6. „I saw the Lord high, and higher, and highest.” So, now we know that the slave is God.

The astonishing humiliation

isaiah 53 5

The deity of Messiah is proclaimed. Verse 14 adds: Just as many were astonished at you My people, so His appearance was far more than any man.”  Now we know that He not only will be God, but He will also be man. The God man. He will be marred, that word in Hebrew means mutilated, it means distorted, it means disfigured. And, so extremely disfigured as to be literally beyond human recognition, looking like a beast, not a man. This servant is God? The eternal God: high, higher, highest. Exalted, loftiest, sitting on His throne. And, in the New testament, we know the writer of the Gospel of John tells us that the vision of Isaiah 6 is none other than Jesus Christ. He is God, lifted up and exalted. And He is man, marred, disfigured. This is the second riddle. Who is this Messiah? The Jews had a Messianic view, they had a concept of Messiah. I don’t know that they thought He would be God, but they assumed that He would be exalted. They had no sense that He would be marred, disfigured, far form it. But, that is only temporary.

His marring will be so severe, end of verse 14, that His form would be disfigured and distorted more than the sons of man. The implication of the language is- in face and form He will become subhuman. And we know that happened. All the brutality imposed upon Him. The physical distortion of His body, in all that He suffered and the distortion of His face, from sin bearing… We’re glad to get to verse 15. because the astonishing revelation, followed by the astonishing humiliation, brings us to the astonishing exaltation. (19:50)

The astonishing exaltation

„He will startle many nations.” Startle means to burst, to jump up. „He will startle many nations and Kings will shut their mouths on account of Him. What has not been told them, they will see, what they had not heard they will understand.” This is His final exaltation. So, God Himself, introduces His servant, His slave, the slave of Yahweh. the slave of Messiah, who is to come. He will be God, He will be man, He will be marred, He will be exalted. There is the career of the Lord Jesus in broad terms, from the mouth of God. This information is given to the Jews from Isaiah, 700 years before Jesus came. (21)

Isaiah 53

Now, let’s come to chapter 53. And, all of a suede something changes. Verses 13-15 ‘1st person- future’. „He will be”… „He will…” Kings will..”  „they will…”, „they will see..”. All future- speaking of the coming of the Messiah. Everything changes. This is one speaker: God, speaking of the future career of His servant. When you come to verse 1, everything changes. Everything now is in the past tense. And plural pronouns: „we”, „our”, „us”. The big question for us is, „Who is talking?” Not God. Who is speaking?

The Suffering Servant

53 Who has believed our message?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot,
And like a root out of parched ground;
He has no stately form or majesty
That we should look upon Him,
Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
He was despised and forsaken of men,
A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;
And like one from whom men hide their face
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore,
And our sorrows He carried;
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.

He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He did not open His mouth;
Like a lamb that is led to slaughter,
And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers,
So He did not open His mouth.
By oppression and judgment He was taken away;
And as for His generation, who considered
That He was cut off out of the land of the living
For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
His grave was assigned with wicked men,
Yet He was with a rich man in His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.

10 But the Lord was pleased
To crush Him, putting Him to grief;
If He would render Himself as a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring,
He will prolong His days,
And the good pleasure of the Lord will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul,
He will see it and be satisfied;
By His knowledge the Righteous One,
My Servant, will justify the many,
As He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great,
And He will divide the booty with the strong;
Because He poured out Himself to death,
And was numbered with the transgressors;
Yet He Himself bore the sin of many,
And interceded for the transgressors.

Who is saying this? Who is making this massive confession? What group of people is this? What group of people is this? This is plural ‘til you get down to verse 11, where God begins to speak again. Who is this? It is Israel.

What did we learn about Isaiah? Israel’s physical deliverance in the first 9 chapters of the second half, and Israel’s salvation in the second nine. You bore down to those 9 in the middle chapter and the middle verses- this is the prophecy, not the death of Christ. This is not a prophecy of the death of Christ, this is a prophecy of the future conversion of Israel, when they look back at the death of Christ and see who He really was. This is stunning. This leaps across the death and resurrection of Christ to the future conversion of Israel. That’s why Isaiah gave this. To give hope for the national salvation of his people.

Remember Ezekiel 36, when God promises salvation to Israel, a new heart, His spirit… you remember Jeremiah 31, the covenant passage promised to Israel, where God saves Israel. But, you might wanna think about this in terms of another prophecy. As you come to the end of the Old Testament, in Zechariah 12:10 I will pour out on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the Spirit of grace and of supplication, so that they will look on Me whom they have pierced; and they will mourn for Him, as one mourns for an only son, and they will weep bitterly over Him like the bitter weeping over a firstborn. 
And Zechariah sees the future day, when Israel has, by the sovereign purposes of God, the spirit of grace and supplication comes down from heaven and gives them life. And when God does that, they will look on the one they pierced and they will mourn. vv 11-14 11 In that day there will be great mourning in Jerusalem, like the mourning of Hadadrimmon in the plain of Megiddo. 12 The land will mourn, every family by itself; the family of the house of David by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the house of Nathan by itself and their wives by themselves; 13 the family of the house of Levi by itself and their wives by themselves; the family of the Shimeites by itself and their wives by themselves; 14 all the families that remain, every family by itself and their wives by themselves. What are they all mourning about? That is the future work of God, when He saves the nation of Israel. Romans 11 „So, all Israel will be saved”. That’s the future promise of God.

When that day comes, what will they say? They will recite Isaiah 53. This is their confession. That’s why it’s in the past tense. Think of it this way, as we look at this incredible chapter. Why the mourning? Why the horror? Why does everybody mourn, from the lowest to the highest? From the King, the leader, always down to the humblest family? What is all this mourning and weeping, and sorrowing? It’s obvious. In that future day, when Israel is saved, they will look back over their history and realize that everyone that came before them and rejected Jesus Christ was damned forever. The horror. All the history of holocaust, all those people are lost. The mourning will be beyond comprehension. (transcript from first 30 min provided by our blog)

Ancient wall found in Israel matches up with Bible’s tale of Assyrian attack

A mud-brick wall was found at the heart of ancient fortifications at the Ashdod-Yam dig. Photo credit and story from http://www.nbcnews.com/science/ancient-wall-israel

Archaeologists say they have unearthed the remains of massive fortifications built about 2,700 years ago around an Iron Age Assyrian harbor in present-day Israel. The ruins appear to have a connection to Assyria’s takeover of the region, as mentioned in the Book of Isaiah.

„The fortifications appear to protect an artificial harbor,” Tel Aviv University’s Alexander Fantalkin, leader of the excavations at the Ashdod-Yam archaeological dig, said in a news release issued Monday. „If so, this would be a discovery of international significance, the first known harbor of this kind in our corner of the Levant.”

The discovery was announced at the end of the first excavation season at Ashdod-Yam in the contemporary coastal city of Ashdod, just south of Tel Aviv. At the heart of the fortifications is a mud-brick wall measuring more than 12 feet wide (3.6 meters wide) in some places, and 15 feet (4.5 meters) high. The wall is covered in layers of mud and sand that stretch for hundreds of feet on either side.

When they were built in the 8th century B.C., the crescent-shaped fortifications would have defended an inland area covering more than 17 acres (7 hectares).

Philip Sapirstein / TAU – A 3-D rendering created by Tel Aviv University’s Philip Sapirstein shows the collapse of mud-brick structures that was thought to have occurred in the 2nd century B.C., during the Hellenistic period.

Age of Sargon II
During the late 8th century B.C., Assyrian King Sargon II ruled the entire southeastern part of the Mediterranean basin, including Egypt and the Middle East. Inscriptions tell of a Philistine king in Ashdod, named Yamani, who tried to organize a revolt against the Assyrian Empire. The Assyrians responded harshly, took control of Ashdod in 711 B.C. and eventually destroyed the city. As a result, power shifted to the nearby area of Ashdod-Yam, the site of the current excavations.

Tel Aviv University said the fortifications appear to be related to these events, although the precise relationship is not yet clear. They could have been built before or after the Ashdod rebellion was put down, either at the initiative of the local defenders or at the orders of the Assyrians.

Based on earlier excavations, the late Israeli archaeologist Jacob Kaplan concluded that the rebels built the fortifications in anticipation of the attack — but Fantalkin said the construction seems too monumental to have been done under such circumstances.

„An amazing amount of time and energy was invested in building the wall and glacis [embankments],” he said.

Staying out of the fight
Sargon II’s harsh action against Ashdod was mentioned in Isaiah 20, as a warning to those who backed the rebellion. „In that day, the people who live on this coast will say, ‘See what has happened to those we relied on, those we fled to for help and deliverance from the king of Assyria!'”

Hezekiah, king of Judah, stayed out of the fight — presumably at the urging of Isaiah.

Fantalkin and his team found more recent ruins on top of the sand of the Iron Age fortifications, dating to the Hellenistic period, between the 4th and 2nd centuries B.C. They say the buildings and walls were apparently built after the earlier fortifications were abandoned, and were probably destroyed by an earthquake in the second half of the 2nd century B.C. Ancient coins, weights and other artifacts were found among the ruins.

During the Byzantine era, Ashdod-Yam was known as Azotos Paralios, or Azotus Paralus. An impressive citadel called Kal’at Al Mina was built on the site during the Early Islamic period, sometime between the 8th and the 11th centuries. In 1033, that citadel was badly damaged in an earthquake.

Update for 10:50 p.m. ET Aug. 20: The caption for the 3-D representation has been revised to indicate that it reflects the collapse of the mud-brick structures during the Hellenistic period.

By Alan Boyle who is NBCNews.com’s science editor. Read more here http://www.nbcnews.com/science/ancient-wall-israel

Rodica Volintiru – ESTE VREMEA POSTULUI SI A RUGACIUNILOR FIERBINTI

Rodica Volintiru are un website aici:

http://rodicavolintiru.wordpress.com

NOUA CARTE de la Rodica Volintiru: 

Cunoaşterea frumuseţii lui Dumnezeu – prin post şi rugăciune

se poate comanda prin email la adresa roda4jesus@yahoo.ca

Rodica Volintiru carte

Photo credit Agnus Dei

Comanda cartea prin email de la Rodica Volintiru – roda4jesus@yahoo.ca

Rodica Volintiru despre carte la Conferinta Femeilor Mamaia 2013:

Prima tara, pentru ca locuim in Canada de 20 de ani, la care Domnul ne-a adus sa misionam a fost in Romania, pentru femei, pentru tineret, in puscarii, pe strada- nu conteaza, nu avem limite. Oriunde Dumnezeu are un plan pentru noi, noi mergem si vrem sa-L vestim pe Hristos, vrem sa plangem cu cei ce plang, vrem sa intarim, sa incurajam. Si faptul ca suntem aici e harul Domnului si multumesc Domnului si sorei Ligia pentru aceasta. E adevarat ca de 7 ani de zile, Domnul mi-a spus foarte clar sa ma apuc sa scriu o carte, pentru Romania intai. Dar au trebuit sa treaca ani de experienta, ani de cercetare, de zdrobire ca sa am ce sa scriu. In acest timp am primit 7 cuvinte profetice. Acesta este al saptelea an de misiune. Sapte inseamna un numar desavarsit. Inseamna complet, in care Domnul vrea sa duca ceva mai mult si sapte mai inseamna odihna. Trebuie sa intram in odihna Domnului. Asta nu inseamna pasivitate, ca te culci. Nu. Asa cum a vorbit si Tatiana si sora Mimi, intram intr-o totala incredere  ca noi stim cine suntem in Hristos. Acea incredere te duce intr-o odihna. Si aceasta odihna te duce la o manifestare. Adica, vei vedea ceea ce tu te-ai rugat.

Vreau sa spun ceva despre carte. Se numeste: Cunoasterea frumusetii lui Dumnezeu prin post si rugaciune. Dupa cum stiti si unele dintre dumneavoastra, Dumnezeu m-a chemat la o viata mai pusa deoparte pentru El, in mai multe zile de post si rugaciune. Nu este o lauda, ci doar vreau sa-L onorez pe Domnul, ca El mi-a dat acest har sa postesc de la o zi pana la 40 de zile, si cel mai mult pentru Romania. Un sacrificiu pentru dragostea care o am pentru El, si tot El a pus-o in viata mea. M-a pus sa sacrific pentru Romania, pentru dumneavoastra, pentru tot ce exista in tara aceasta. Jumatate este mult din marturia mea, intalnirile mele cu Domnul, care poate niciodata nu le-am explicat atat de profund si adanc. Cand intr-adevar am avut o intalnire reala cu Dumnezeu, cand El a pus puterea aia si pasiunea in inima mea, un foc care arde, nu e al meu- n-am cu ce sa ma laud, dar, de-acuma au inceput primele inceputuri, cum m-a chemat Domnul in misiune, cum Dumnezeu a facut miracole in viata noastra de vindecare si cu copiii. Comanda cartea: prin email la roda4jesus@yahoo.ca (emailul sorei Rodica Volintiru) VIDEO by hearthofprayer

Introducerea Cartii la Conferinta Femeilor Mamaia 2013

~~~~~~~

Rodica VolintiruAvem marea bucurie sa va anuntam ca vom posta in mod regulat articole din partea sorei Rodica Volintiru aici pe blogul nostru. Rodica este o mare binecuvantare pentru credinciosii de pretutindeni, cei care am intalnit-o si am avut prilejul de a asculta mesajele ei din partea Domnului am fost inprospatati, incurajati si ne-am legat inima strans de ea. Va invit sa vizionati cateva fisiere video de la linkurile sub articol care va vor zidi enorm de mult. Pe curand speram sa avem si filmarea de la unul dintre mesajele sorei Rodica din vizita ei in Chicago. Rugati-va pentru sora Rodica, pentru ungere, pentru ‘boldness’ si pentru protectie in calatoriile ei prin Romania, Africa, prin inchisori si oriunde o va conduce Domnul impreuna cu sotul ei Marian si copilasii lor. Pentru easy access postarilor care vor urma, am adaugat un widget cu aceasta poza in partea dreapta a blogului. Faceti click pe poza sorei Rodica si veti intra la pagina dansei, la care vom adauga fiecare articol (sau video) care se va posta.

ESTE VREMEA POSTULUI SI A RUGACIUNILOR FIERBINTI

Am citit despre multi giganti ai credintei care au postit si s-au rugat cu zilele in agonie si travaliu spiritual, pentru lumea pierduta si necajita. Si Domnul a facut mari minuni datorita sacrificiilor lor si a rugaciunilor neancetate si fierbinti. Unde mai sunt astfel de persoane si astazi? De ce sunt asa de rari? Cine ne-a furat aceasta dragoste si totala predare pentru cauza lui Hristos?

Aud mereu cuvintele Domnului; “PE CINE SA TRIMET?” Cand l-am auzit pe Domnul prima data , spunandu-mi aceste cuvinte, dupa ce m-a umplut cu iubirea Lui, am simtit o putere divina insotita de suferinta si dragoste ,care mi-a inundat toata fiinta…Am cazut cu fata la pamant intr-o agonie adanca pentru sufletele chinuite de cel rau, disperate si nemantuite… In acele clipe, toate dorintele firii, ale vietii, s-au stins, confortul si starea de a fi un crestin normal, s-au topit, si am simtit ca ma scufund intr-o alta lume pe care n-o cunoscusem pana atunci ,si care trebuie sa o ajut…era lumea pierduta, disperata, fara un Mantuitor, fara speranta, fara bucurie, fara rugaciune, in care era doar suferinta si durere, iar cel rau doar chinuia faptura mainii lui Dumnezeu.

Am inceput sa plang , dar un plans disperat, in agonie si cu travaliu ca in durerile nasterii…Numai cine a ajuns aici poate intelege ce scriu eu acum. Daca nu intelegi, nu te grabi sa judeci sau sa treci mai departe, ci cere-I Domnului Isus sa-ti dea Duhul Sau de mijlocire, ca sa vedem sufletele ca se intorc la Domnul…(Si acum cand scriu, retraiesc aceeste momente de durere si scriu cu lacrimi sfinte, caci stiu, simt ca Domnul Isus sta la dreapta Tatalui si mijloceste pentru noi.) De ce a intrebat Domnul pe Isaia “PE CINE SA TRIMET ,CINE VA MERGE PENTRU NOI ?” (Isaia 6;8)

Poate o sa spui, caci era vorba de venirea Domnului Isus. Da, El a venit ca sa ne mantuiasca si sa ne dea o viata din belsug, dar acum Domnul ne-a dat noua aceata porunca; “Duceti-va”…Si “Cum va auzi ei fara propovaduitor?” Numai Relatia noastra intima si de dragoste cu Mantuitorul, ne duce unde si cand Domnul ne spune, ne sacrificam pe noi insine, confortul, banii, familia, renumele, reputatia chiar, numai de dragul Domnului si a voiei Sale. In aceasta chemare pe care mi-a dat-o Domnul, intotdeauna am dorit ca sa am cat mai mult timp cu El personal mai inainte de toate.

De multe ori in orele adanci de lupta si rugaciune intima cu Domnul, nu doream nici prietenii , nici chiar familia ca sa se interpuna intre mine si Dumnezeu. Atat de dulce, de puternica, de vitala, si de necesara este partasia cu EL…

Orice crestin, care nu petrece CEL PUTIN O ORA IN RUGACIUNE ZILNIC, cu Dumnezeu in timpul lui devotional, este un crestin slab si slaba ii este si credinta si dragostea si puterea…”O ORA NU ATI FOST IN STARE CA SA VA RUGATI IMPREUNA CU MINE ???” ne spune si noua astazi Domnul Isus. Alege astazi, daca vrei ca sa experimentezi dimensiunile lui Dumnezeu, sa dai TOTUL la o parte, chiar prieteni (care pot fi o piedica in calea relatiei tale cu Domnul ), servici, bani, orice, ca sa poti avea o relatie de dragoste cu Creatorul si Mantuitorul tau. Acum esti pus la un TEST mare. Si simt ca sa scriu aceste cuvinte din partea Domnului, pentru tine care citesti acum.

Care este prioritatea ta numarul 1? De ce nu ai timp ca sa petreci mai mult cu Dumnezeu in rugaciune ? Care iti sunt piedicile ? Nu crezi ca se pot da la o parte ?Ce te tine ca sa nu renunti la ele (piedici)? Care iti sunt piedicile ? Cine are mai multa importanta pentru tine, decat RELATIA TA CU DUMNEZEU? Cine te-a impotmolit asa de rau incat traiesti o viata fara rugaciune si esti victima in loc sa fii un invingator ? Chiar Acum , ne spune Domnul Dumnezeu; „LEPADATI tot ce nu-i din Mine, ARUNCATI asupra Mea toate ingrijorarile, ALERGATI inaintea Mea, caci Eu va astept de multa vreme ca sa va binecuvintez cu plinatatea bucuriei si a dragostei Mele. Va astept ca sa fiti lucratori impreuna cu Mine, pentru inaintarea imparatiei Mele.

Esti tu gata sa lasi totul pentru Mine ? Esti tu gata sa risci totul de dragul Meu si sa mergi unde Eu te trimet ? Ai tu incredere in Cuvantul Meu, care iti va purta de grija ? Numai acelora care pasesc prin Credinta,le voi deschide ochii ca sa vada minunile Mele si sa se bucure de ele.Cu cat este sacrificiul mai mare, cu atat bucuria si victoria vor fi mai mari. Tot ceea ce va tine astazi, intr-o zi va arde, tot ceea ce voi strangeti astazi, vor fi nimicite intr-o zi, ceea ce voi tineti ascunse in inima, va SEACA viata de putere in rugaciune, si va fura binecuvantarile, pacea si bucuria Mea. De aceea copiii Mei, zice Domnul, veniti la Mine toti cei truditi si impovorati si Eu va voi da odihna …”

Articole/Video asemanatoare

 

Rodica – Despre Post si Rugaciune

AlfaOmegaTV

Rodica si Marian Volintiru

la CredoTV august 2013

Rodica si Marian VolintiruPoza din video Credo TV (Vezi interviul video mai jos)

Rodica Baciu cu Marian si Rodica Volintiru la emisiunea Pentru noi, femeile. VIDEO by Credo TV Urmeaza cateva puncte din interviu, din prima parte (primele 20 de minute):

Marian:

Filipeni 4:8 Încolo, fraţii mei, tot ce este adevărat, tot ce este vrednic de cinste, tot ce este drept, tot ce este curat, tot ce este vrednic de iubit, tot ce este vrednic de primit, orice faptă bună, şi orice laudă, aceea să vă însufleţească. Acesta este versetul nostru, care l-am primit cand ne-am casatorit. Pentru multi ani l-am uitat, dar de un an in urma, acesta m-a marcat si la acesta ma gandesc tot timpul. Dimineata cand ma scol, ma gandesc: In aceasta zi vreau sa adaug valoare cuiva. Daca noi, ca si crestini, ne-am gandi mai mult la lucrurile bune, de valoare, in jurul nostru, nu conteaza ca sunt crestini sau necrestini, noi am putea sa schimbam chiar o natiune, schimbam atmosfera in jurul nostru.

  • Noi ne rugam de multe ori si facem rugaciuni sincere si dupa voia lui Dumnezeu, dar de multe ori nu asteptam raspunsul sau nu credem ca o sa se intample, sau o sa vina raspunsul. M-am rugat de multe ori si am zis, „Doamne, foloseste-ma pentru slava Ta. Sunt aici, la dispozitia Ta,” este o cantare frumoasa si multi o canta si la momentul in care Dumnezeu te cheama spui, „Oh, nu eu, ca nu am calitati, daruri.” Si gasim tot felul de scuze. Dumnezeu vrea o inima sa fie intreaga a Lui ca sa poata sa o foloseasca. Ceea ce multi nu au inteles, vor sa se pregateasca dinainte sa se potriveasca cu planul Lui. Dumnezeu spune, „Vino asa cum esti si te pregatesc eu.” Bineinteles, foloseste (si) scoli si tot.
  • In momentul cand am ajuns in Canada, am avut aceste cereri si nu m-am uitat dupa bogatii, sa imi fac. Desi, sunt bune si acelea sa le ai. Dar, nu acesta a fost scopul meu. Am vrut sa am o familie, sa fiu un crestin cum Domnul ma vrea si sa pot sa ajut pe cei saraci, pentru ca (ca o mica paranteza) cand am fost de 7-8 ani am stat un an de zile la orfelinat si inca mai simt si durerea pentru orfani. Si cred ca Dumnezeu a ingaduit acel moment in viata mea pentru ca sa-i inteleg pe cei orfani. Dumnezeu ingaduie anumite lucruri in viata noastra ca sa putem sa intelegem pe altii si ca sa putem lucra pentru inaintarea imparatiei Domnului.
  • Domnul a vorbit sotiei mele, (care) a primit aceasta viziune a merge inapoi in Romania, eu personal, avand o viata mai usoara de familie (intri intr-o zona de confort din care iti este foarte greu sa iesi) si am zis, „Noi ajutam in Romania oricum. Trimitem, ne rugam, orice…. dar, nu sa mergem noi, pentru ca am fost odata in 1999 si am zis ‘Nu e locul nostru aici, nu mai avem ce cauta. Copiii s-au nascut acolo, alta cultura….'” Dar, in 2006, cand Dumnezeu a vorbit sotiei mele, si aici am zis, „Doamne, de ce nu-mi vorbesti mie, ca eu sunt barbat.” Domnul alege sa vorbeasca cui vrea si cand vrea. Am inteles ca Dumnezeu mi-a ascultat rugaciunea (mea) si mi-a dat ajutorul potrivit, ca sa se implineasca ceea ce eu cerusem, de fapt. Multumesc Domnului, ca uitanduma in urma mi-a dat mai mult decat I-am cerut. (17:50)

Rodica:

Partea mea pentru femei este: Alege un singur lucru. Stai la picioarele Domnului ca si Maria. Cu cat ne apropiem de Domnul si cautam fata Lui, sa cautam sa-L cunaostem si sa-L iubim, viata noastra- a familiei, a bisericii, a societatii, se poate schimba prin noi. Deci, asta sa alegem, partea cea mai buna, care nu ni se va lua. Si chiar si pentru femeile care au fost ranite, abuzate, pacatoase- sa fim ca femeia pacatoasa care realizeaza harul lui Dumnezeu care ne-a iertat si venim cu vasul de alabstru si-l varsam la picioarele Domnului, pentru ca-L iubim. Dragostea trebuie sa fie cheia pentru noi, pentru toti.

  • Cand am ajuns in Canada am inceput mai mult sa Il caut pe Dumnezeu. Am inceput mai mult sa citesc, sa studiez, as ascult predici. M-am implicat in foarte multe intalniri de rugaciune, conferinte, dar nu am avut nici un plan de a lucra pentru Dumnezeu. In mine ardea o foame si o sete dupa El. Am zis, „Doamne, eu vreau sa tecunosc. Doamne, eu vreau mai mult din Tine. Doamne, aceasta este pasiunea si dorinta care tot Tu ai pus-o in mine, dar am simtit ca am intrat in ea. Stiu ca toti avem… Dumnezeu a pus in fiecare pasiune dupa Dumnezeu, dorinta dupa Dumnezeu, de a-L cunaoste de a-L iubi, de a implini ceea ce spune Biblia. Dar nu ajungem poate la izvor. Sunt foarte multe bariere. Prin harul lui Dumnezeu, El mi-a dat harul de am ajuns exact in care sa doresc asa de mult pe Dumnezeu. Au fost cativa ani buni, pot sa zic 10 ani de zile de cautare, de alergare, de infometare, de prelucrare. In acelasi timp, de echipare, care nu stiam de ce. Pentru mine eram multumita ca in fiecare zi, Dumnezeu mi se descopera mai mult. In fiecare zi incepeam sa cunosc mai mult din El. In fiecare zi era mai multa foame. De abia asteptam rugaciunea, de abia asteptam sa merg la un grup de rugaciune, sau la o conferinta. Era pentru mine, ceva de a umple golul acela, golul acela care este in inima noastra a fiecaruia. SI cu cat ma apropiam de El simteam ca ceva se goleste. Domnul scotea multe lucruri din viata mea si ma umplea in acelasi timp. Pana in 2006, cand Dumnezeu m-a chemat, m-a umplut de o putere- mai mult, nu pot sa spun neaparat putere- pentru mine a fost un foc. A fost ceva divin, Dumnezeiesc, care mi-a umplut viata de dragoste si o pasiune pentru Dumnezeu. Nici nu am cuvinte sa explica cum a venit si a intrat acea putere in inima mea, in viata mea si m-a transformat radical, dupa 10 ani de cautare in care Dumnezeu mi-a dat de fiecare data. Si acea iubire m-a dus mai departe. Am inceput sa aud vocea Domnului. Am inceput sa inteleg mai mult lumea spirituala. Domnul mi-a aratat multe lucruri s auzind vocea Domnului, Dumnezeu m-a chemat la o viata de post . Sa postesc mai multe zile, 3 zile, 4 zile, 7 zile, 21, pana la 40 de zile. Deci, numai cu apa, in care nu mancam nimic, nici ziua, nici seara. E un har.
  • Dar, atunci in aceasta perioada, Dumnezeu mi-a vorbit ca voi ajunge inapoi in Romania, dar nu am stiut de ce. A fost moartea tatalui meu si a trebuit sa ajung in Romania pentru tatal meu. Dar, de fapt, nu asta a fost motivul. A fost a cel motiv de a intra din nou in atmosfera Romaneasca, sa simt din nou cu Romanii si sa vad realitatea poporului Roman. Nu ca sa fi fost eu cineva. Nu in nici un caz, ca n-am nimic cu ce s ama laud. Dar, deja prin acea prisma a iubirii si a focului dragostei lui Dumnezeu am inceput acuma sa vad Romania si lumea si nevoia , necesitatea si problemele care pot fi rezolvate tot la fel, venind la piciorul crucii Domnului si umplandu-ne cu acea iubire a lui Dumnezeu. Atunci am simtit pentru prima data, chiar pe 1 ianuarie 2007 povara Romaniei. Aia a fost de la Domnul, n-a fost a mea. Si am inceput sa sufar si sa plang si sa doresc cumva sa ajutam Romania. Si in primul rand, pentru ca asta era un mod de viata al meu, sa stau in post si rugaciune, sa mijlocesc foarte mult si am zis ca aceasta este cheia. Dar, dupa ce am postit 40 de zile, Domnul ne-a zis, „Pregatiti-va sa plecati in misiune.” Dumnezeu a deschis drumul ca sa motivam poporul Roman la o apropiere mai adanca de Domnul, pentru o trezire prin post si rugaciune si sunt mai multe cai prin care sa ne apropiem de Domnul si sa vedem trezire in tara noastra. (Din primele 20 de minute)

Partea 1-a

Partea 2-a

Partea 3-a

Partea 4-a

coming soon

Citeste articole scrise de Rodica Volintiru aici

http://rodicavolintiru.wordpress.com

The dead sea scrolls: The greatest archaeological find of all times

How do you know that the Bible you read today is the same one that the apostles wrote? Or much less, what the prophets wrote thousands and thousands of years ago? We’ve all played the gossip story, where you tell a story to one who tells it to another person, who tells it to another person, and then seen the story changed dramatically in just a few generations. And for thousands of years, these writings have been copied, and recopied, and recopied, and so, how do you know that what we have today is anything what they wrote? If you’ve talked to very many people about the Bible, you’ve heard that kind of objection, and hopefully you have a good answer. I think there are a number of ways to approach it. But. I think that’s one of the powerful messages of the dead sea scrolls. Notes from the lecture continue below the video…..

Qumran in the West Bank, Middle East. In this ...

Qumran in the West Bank, Middle East. In this cave the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. In dieser Höhle in Qumran wurden die Schriftrollen gefunden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Patton is the staff Geologist for the Qumran Plateu excavation in Israel, the site that produced the Dead Sea Scrolls some 2,000 years ago. These scrolls, perhaps the most significant archeological discovery of all time, have changed the way we view the Bible. Many have been led to believe that the original text of the Bible has deteriorated over years of copying and recopying. The Dead Sea Schrolls provide a test of that hypothesis, allowing us to compare modern versions with recently discovered manuscripts written over 2,000 years ago. Dr. Patton will take you to the same scene of the original caves where the scrolls were discovered with one of the Bedouins who made the discovery. This is a fascinating story with eternal implications. Dr. Patton has a broad educational background; four years at Florida College, Temple Terrace, FL (Bible); two years at Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN (Geology); two years at Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ., Indianapolis, IN (Geology); two years, Pacific School of Graduate Studies. He has worked as Geologist in US, Canada, Australia, England, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Cambodia, Israel, and Jordan. Dr. Patton has participated in dinosaur excavations in Colorado, Texas, Utah, Wyoming and Canada. He is credited with excavating the longest consecutive dinosaur trail in North America, totaling 157 tracks, extending over 500 feet. He is a member of the Geological Society of America and was a speaker at their 1997 annual convention. Dr. Patton lectures at universities across the United States. He has conducted up to twelve Creation/Evolution Seminaries a year for twenty five years. He has participated in numerous public debates on creation/evolution including radio and TV debates. He has testified three times before Texas State Textbook Committee, Austin, TX. Presently, Dr. Patton is consulting geologist & partner in Mazada Corporation, Dallas, TX. He is a staff geologist of the Creation Evidence Museum, Glen Rose, TX, staff geologist for the Qumran Plateau excavation in Israel.

Notes from the video:

How do you know that the Bible you read today is the same one that the apostles wrote? Or much less, what the prophets wrote thousands and thousands of years ago? We’ve all played the gossip story, where you tell a story to one who tells it to another person, who tells it to another person, and then seen the story changed dramatically in just a few generations. And for thousands of years, these writings have been copied, and recopied, and recopied, and so, how do you know that what we have today is anything what they wrote? If you’ve talked to very many people about the Bible, you’ve heard that kind of objection, and hopefully you have a good answer. I think there are a number of ways to approach it. But. I think that’s one of the powerful messages of the dead sea scrolls.

It is dependable. That is, the Bible that we have today is like what the apostles wrote, and  what the prophets wrote. We understand the objection and the difficulty that people have in grasping that, because everything that we know about in this world goes downhill, it deteriorates. And so, things begin to degenerate, so why not the message that the apostles and the prophets wrote? We understand from Genesis chapter 3, the beginning of this deteriorative process, where a curse was placed on the earth.

Genesis 3:17b-19 “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat food from it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”

This, I think, pervades the whole universe. Isaiah speaks of this effect that we see:

Isaiah 40:7 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. 8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

But then, he tells us there is an exception to this degenerative process:

Isaiah 40:8 but the word of our God endures forever.” 

That’s different. This is the promise of the word of God, and some say, „Well, but, how do you know this is true? And one of the evidences would be from the dead sea scrolls. But, we need to understand what God’s words promise, and that is that there is an exception. Jesus, Himself says in Matthew 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Now, we have radical teachers like Joseph Smith, and like Mohammad, that says the word did pass away and that’s why you have to have new writings and you have to pay attention to what they’ve written, that I believe is very different. But it doesn’t need to be replaced if it’s never passed away.

Peter is quoting from Isaiah in 1 Peter 1, when he says all flesh is like grass:

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, 25 but the word of the Lord endures forever.

…and then, Peter goes on to apply that to what the apostles have written, not just the Old Testament Scriptures:

26 And this is the word that was preached to you. (by the apostles)

Now, that’s the promise. In spite of this promise, we are told over and over again that it has degenerated, and even from religious leaders. And that it needs to be replaced. But, in spite of the fact that information that the dead sea scrolls is filtered most of the times through liberal scholars, we have very good, I believe, confirmation of exactly what Isaiah and Jesus, and Peter are promising here. And I think, that’s the primary significance of the dead sea scrolls. Let’s begin talking about the discovery of the dead sea scrolls. photo below – wikipedia – The Psalms Scroll, designated 11Q5, with transcription

The discovery of the dead sea scrolls

When it was first announced, back in the 1940’s, it was declared even in Time magazine, to be the greatest manuscript discovery of all time, by William Albright. He was considered dean of American archaeologists. We’re told that these 2 individuals, along with several others who were with them, teenagers at the time, were near the dead sea. They were shepherding sheep, goats and they had lost one of the goats. They were hunting for it, and in the process of trying to find their long livestock, they found the dead sea scrolls.

At the 6:26 minute mark, Dr. Patton shows a picture of one of the original men who was there when the scrolls were discovered and shows the entrance to the cave, which Dr. Patton visited. He tossed a rock into the opening of the cave to see if the animal was in there, and he heard the sound of breaking pots. As a result, he realized that there were pottery vases inside. He lowered himself inside and found 37 vases, He removed at least 7 of these scrolls and carried them back to his tent, where they stayed for maybe a couple of years, before they realized the significance of it. In talking to some of the ones who were there, and had them in their tents, they were aware they were very important. The parchment on which they were written was unusual, reserved for very important documents, and so they used them for important documents. Like, if they wanted to divorce their wives, they’d take some of the dead sea scrolls and write on the back of it. (photo below wikipedia- Scholar Eleazar Sukenik examining one of the Dead Sea Scrolls in 1951).

But, eventually they realized that this was important enough that they can get some money for it. Through a series of intriguing events, they finally wound up with Khalil Eskander Shahin, „Kando”, who lived in Bethlehem at the time. He had a gift antiquity shop in the St. George Hotel. He was a cobbler. He thought, originally that he could use this leather parchment  material, maybe to repair some shoes. It was in excellent condition, sealed in the jars. Eventually, it came to the attention of Professor Eleazer Sukenik of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. And he understood (I am just greatly condensing the story) that these were greatly important documents, and was able to acquire 3 of them. Four of them were purchased by  Metropolitan Athanasius Yeshue Samuel, better known as Mar Samuel of the Syrian Orthodox Church. He, along with John C. Trever verified that these were very ancient documents and Mr. Samuel then advertised them in the Wall Street Journal.  Yigael Yadin, the son of the Professor Eleazer Sukenik,  who had purchased the first three, Yadin, who was also leader of the Israeli underground army (this was before just right before Israel was a state). Jerusalem was under siege by the Arabs. Bethlehem was under total control of the Arabs and Mr. Sukenik had to travel there, against the advice of his son to purchase the first 3. And now, his son goes to Mar Samuel, who has got the other 4 advertised in the Wall Street Journal. The son saw the ad in the paper, and arranged through an intermediary, because he would not have sold them to an Israeli for $250,000. So, all 7 of them came into the possession of Hebrew University and are now housed in the Shrine of the Book. The Dead Sea Scrolls are a collection of 972 texts discovered between 1946 and 1956 at Khirbet Qumran in what was then British Mandate Palestine, and since 1947 known as the West Bank.

Let’s think about the site of the dead sea scrolls. The northwest corner of the dead sea, about 15 miles from Jerusalem, right on the edge of the seashore. And this was a renegade community, renegade in terms of  the way orthodox jews thought about it in Jerusalem. They thought the ones in Jerusalem were renegades. I think there’s a sense in which they were both right. We see that the temple, in Jesus’s time, built by Herod, a megalomaniac, trying to outdo Solomon with all of his building program, and as Jesus reveals in the writings of the New Testament, he was very much opposed to a lot of what was going on. They were too, though they had some pretty strange ideas in this community.

The authors of the dead sea scrolls

It was excavated in the 1950’s, and it was a very elaborate complex, probably the dwelling place of about 200 people. They weren’t married, they did not believe sex was appropriate, and somehow they survived for 300 years there, through a heavy recruiting program. They had some other unusual ideas, but they also – this is usually not revealed by the liberal scholars because these were kooks according to them- they also had some very righteous conduct and some excellent insights into the Scriptures. And, there’s some facts about them that provide some excellent evidence for us, in view of the concept of the Scripture that we have today. We can see that they had a very elaborate water system. They had engineered an aqueduct to bring water from the nearby mountains and they had all kinds of washing pools, and ceremonial baths and up to 3 story buildings, with a watchtower and then the scriptorium was at least 2 stories. Because of the insights that we gain, when we look at their attitude towards Scripture and towards the Messiah, they (liberals) want to discredit that and call it just a pottery factory. But, inside the scriptorium, the benches were made to stretch out the scrolls (13:00). The inkwells are found in the ruins. And so, they were stretching out rolls, sewing them together, writing on these benches, and I think it’s pretty obvious what they were doing. Those clay benches that were designed to roll the scrolls out, and to facilitate the copying of them have of course been recovered. Several of them are on display in the Rockefeller museum today, and some of them are in Amman, Jordan. photo below wikipedia – Qumran Scriptorium.

But, this whole community was a worshipping community, considering themselves much more orthodox and righteous, appropriate, loved of God, than any of what was going on in Jerusalem. In 66 A.D. the jews revolted against Rome. At that point, they understood that there were going to be big problems and so, they began to take all of their scrolls and hide them, sealed in jars with beeswax, in the caves. That accounts for their almost miraculous preservation. The intact Isaiah scroll is just beautifully preserved, if somewhat burned around the edges. Two years after they revolted against Rome, the 10th Roman legion marched into this area in 68 A.D. and destroyed it. They completely burned it and did set up camp there and lived there for maybe 25 years. They evidently did not find the scrolls. They were hidden in the caves in the surrounding areas. There are 11 of them that have been found. We were able to go up to those caves, when I was working as a geological consultant for the dig that was going on at that time. One of the original fellows that was there when the scrolls were found went with us to cave 1 and to several other caves and told us (speaking in Arabic through a translator)  of the events and described it for us. His grandson, Yosef, is an accomplished archaeologist and has been able to work with us at the excavations.

Cave 4 is perhaps the most important of the caves. The bedouins found, eventually, over 15,000 fragments. The archaeologists found another 40,000 . Sometimes people say, „Well, they held these things for so long that the were some kind of shenanigans going on. Well, you’ve got over 50,000 fragments. You don’t just put those together easily. They’re from over 400 manuscripts, that is, from this cave. There is a total of over 800 manuscripts from all the caves. And, about 100 from this cave (cave 4) were biblical manuscripts. But, the papyrus on which they were written, and mainly the parchment, if it’s not sealed in the jars, of course does not hold together. It does deteriorate, and it had to be pieced back together. We look inside cave 4, and you see that this is a man made cave. Perhaps, an original cave that they have enlarged and embellished. (at the 18:00 minute mark you see where most of the fragments had been collected from and found).

Dr. Patton’s dig site was on the plateau immediately adjacent to the Qumran area, and was in response to the charge that they (the community) were disconnected to the scrolls, that they were just a pottery factory. We moved a lot of dirt. It is very hot, as it is the lowest spot on earth, about 1300 feet below sea level. Even in December the temperature is near 100 degrees (F), in the summer it’s about 130. Our area was on the eastern portion, which dealt with this pre-Hasmonean circular pit. The Hasmonean era is sometimes called the period between the Old and the New Testaments. We were excavating these cooking pots. One of the things that’s obvious when you excavate remains  is that these people, in the first place, ate very well and they had elaborate clothing and wine pots.

Many people say John the Baptist came from the wilderness and was an Essene, that was here in this Qumran community. But, he didn’t dress that well, he didn’t drink, he didn’t eat that well. Locusts and wild honey is different form the feasts that we saw remains of. I see no connection at all; I see a contrast. These were rather wealthy people. They gave all their money to the community, when they joined up, and they lived well from this communal arrangement. We were looking carefully at the meals which they ceremonially buried in the pottery and found from the DNA analysis of these bones that the DNA matched the sheepskin. So, that the sheep that were used to make the skins on which the scrolls were written, matches the sheep that they were eating. They were of the same family, which refutes the idea that this was just a pottery factory. (22:20)

The contents of the dead sea scrolls

There’s a lot of misinformation. Obviously, it’s not all Scripture. Some 400 of the manuscripts- about half- are these crazy things, these pseudo apocryphal fake scripture. Books that are not inspired, that somehow give the impression of inspiration. And so, what were they doing with this, if they had so much respect for Scripture. Certainly in my library I have some commentary written by some people, that have wrong ideas, which I need to know about, so I can answer. And the fact that you find some of these squirrely books, crazy ideas, is not surprising at all.

200 of the texts are what are called sectarian texts, or manuscripts. This was peculiar to the Qumran community, the Essenes. The Book of Discipline, particularly, gives us insight into how they lived and they baptized 2-3 times a day. They really believed in baptism, and they had the pools all over the place. And they didn’t believe in marriage, and held to some other ideas. But, what was really interesting is their view towards Scripture, that we’ll talk more about. And so, about 1/4 of the library, a greater percentage were of actual manuscripts, or copies of the Scriptures. They would copy and recopy, almost wear out and retire and make new copies. But, they were very devoted religious sect, devoted to studying the Scriptures. 24 copies of Genesis were found.  33 of Deuteronomy. These were the 2 books they seemed to give more emphasis to. Isaiah was popular, 22 fragments, Psalms 39 fragments. And, actually, we find every book of the Old Testament represented, with the exception of Esther, and there is reference to Esther in some of the commentaries which indicate they thought Esther was a part of the canon, what was inspired. I think we’ll find fragments as we continue to search here, of Esther. We find whole or fragmentary copies of every book in the Old Testament, with the exception of Esther, and Esther is referred to.

Perhaps, most significant is the fact that 12 of the scrolls are written in pale0-Hebrew. One of the great challenges to faith is a theory that has overthrown the faith of thousands, some of my close friends, that says that the early books of the Bible were not written by Moses- this documentary hypothesis, as it’s referred to tells us that they were actually written after the exile, made up to look like Israel was ancient to give greater political significance at the time. And they’ve got computer analysis and very technical approaches to try to prove that. 12 of these are written in the Paleo-Hebrew, which is the style that was only used prior to the exile. After the exile, they added vowels, they changed the shapes of the letters, and it’s very easy to see the difference. Now, I don’t think these were actually written before the exile, but, they’re copies of manuscripts that were written, that proves they were in existence prior to the exile. The oldest scroll is the Genesis scroll, written in Paleo-Hebrew, dated to (Wikipedia reports the dates for them, to as early as 325 B.C.) conservatively, 300 B.C. But, in Paleo-Hebrew, which indicates this is a copy  of that which was before the exile. Here is Genesis, a part of the books that they say had to e written after the exile, that we know from the dead sea scrolls, was not (meaning it was written before the exile and pointing to Moses). And that it was in existence before the exile and that documentary hypothesis is exploded for that and several other reasons.

There were a number of interpretive commentaries which I think were very insightful. The liberals don’t like them, because the Essenes believed them and they believed the Bible. The commentaries indicate that. They believed they (the books) were prophetic and that they foresaw the coming of the Messiah, and they understood the Messiah better than the apostles did. They understood, as the New Testament writers did, that this was God’s word. But, they referred to the Messiah as the pierced Messiah. One that would die and would be resurrected. The liberals think that this idea of the Messiah that would die and then be resurrected developed hundreds of years after Christ and that the New Testament was written long after the New Testament times, and that this was just a spin that put on new ideas after they developed for hundreds of years. They got it from the Old Testament prophecies hundreds of years before Christ. This is not an oddball, developed spin on the Old Testament prophecies. This is derived directly from the prophecies, even before Christ arrived.

photo below wikipedia – Great_Isaiah_Scroll Isaiah scroll discovered at Qumran.

The great Isaiah scroll is on display at the Shrine of the Book, at that museum, is the most exciting. If you study Isaiah in seminary today, you won’t study Isaiah. You’ll study Isaiah 1 and Isaiah 2. The liberals have to split this because the second part of Isaiah has prophecies in it. If it were written in the time of Isaiah, it would have to be a supernatural prophecy. And so, they fix that: They split it saying, „Yeah, this is Isaiah 1- it was written at the time of Isaiah, but Isaiah 2 (with the prophecies) had to be written after the exile. That was made up to make it look like prophecy.” And so, when they found the Isaiah scroll, which dates to 300 B.C., and a copy of that which was before the exile, they certainly expected to find 2 different scrolls, because it’s  taught in seminary: Isaiah 1 and Isaiah 2. Not so. All, one complete intact scroll, written in Paleo-Hebrew, altogether 24 feet long. Interestingly, in the margins, you have markings of the Messianic passages, that they understood, 300 years before the Messiah arrived, they understood what this was about. You see why the liberals don’t like it and they don’t tell you about this stuff, but, they tell you about the kooky stuff. (30:40) photo of Mark 6 fragment mentioning Genesareth via bitcoladopini.blogspot.com

Mark 6-52,53 papyrus fragment Dead Sea ScrollsBut, there’s much more. One of the most exciting finds involves Cave #7. And, if I was speaking to a Jewish audience in Jerusalem, you would hear big groans right now. In Cave #7, of course this is from the 1st century, we have different types of manuscripts that are written on papyrus rather than on parchment, the sheepskin, and it is written in Greek, not in Hebrew or Paleo-Hebrew. Cave #7 has collapsed. It’s sides and roof have fallen away and 19 small fragments of papyrus were found. They couldn’t read them initially, and as they continued to study, „Oh Yes,” there was a fragment from Exodus, Jeremiah and with computer analysis they could see how these letters would fit into a text. But they couldn’t read the rest of them. 17 of the 19 fragments were unread. The reason was they had to find them in the Old Testament. And they weren’t Old Testament. They were New Testament fragments. One of the most obvious is from Mark, and this particular fragment mentions Genesareth, which is a peculiar word for  the Sea of Galilee, used only in the first century, and so, this helps date it, together with the style of the letters. And this is a quotation from Mark 6:52-53, that mentions Genesareth. The way you do this is you superimpose text over this and you see if it fits (see video at 32:30 minute mark) and even with just a few letters you can identify it.

And, as they continued to analyze it, they found several other passages from Mark 4:28, Mark 6:48, Mark 6:52-53, Mark 12:17, Acts 27:38, and Romans 5:11-12, and 1 Timothy 3:16, 4:1-3 and 2 Peter 1:15, which was one of the more controversial and James were verified. And the real significance is this is necessarily before 68 A.D. when the Romans came in and destroyed all of this. The style of the letters indicates about 58 A.D. Now think about it. Now we have it verified: Jesus said, in Mark 13:2 „Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left upon another which will not be torn down.” And what happened in 70 A.D.? The Romans marched in and the stones were thrown down and the streets were pummeled by the stones. This was in 70 A.D. and it was prophesied before 68 A.D. and we can prove it(68 A.D. was when the Essene community was destroyed by the Romans and the scrolls were placed in caves to be found hundreds of years later). Now you can see why they don’t like that.

The same process that allowed them to verify Ezekiel and Jeremiah , in the papyrus from the Greek, was used to find Mark. And they accept one, but not the other, because it doesn’t fit their theological views. This is ongoing, and you don’t hear a lot about his either. They’re papyrus fragments. Hanan Eshel who is a professor at one of the major universities, there in Israel, in 2005 found a number of fragments from Leviticus. The bedouins actually found it, he in his association with them, learned that they had them. They approached him. He purchased them from the bedouins and took them immediately to the Department of Antiquities, saying, „Here is what we have found.” They fired him from his university position, they imprisoned him for over a year. You’re not supposed to buy this stuff from the bedouins. He is no longer a university professor, but he is working with us in our dig, in our efforts to gain permits. He has identified the cave from which these fragments came. We just finished a dig and we have to publish before we can apply for a new permit.

Let’s summarize the significance of the Dead Sea Scrolls:

  1. They reveal a sect whose approach to Scripture and view of prophecy were similar to the early church. As Paul wrote, when they received this in Thessalonniki, as it was in truth the Word of God. And, as he told the people of Corinth, „If you’re spiritual, you accept this as the commandments of the Lord.” This is the way they viewed Scripture.  
  2. It destroys the idea that the beliefs of the New Testament were developed over hundreds of years, after Christ and the apostles already died, and somewhat this tradition and myth grew. No, that’s not the case at all.
  3. Like John the Baptist, they believed they were in the desert as forerunners of the Messiah and arrival was imminent. They believed that it was time, and it was imminent, as John the Baptist preached.
  4. Like Jesus and the apostles, they believed they were living in the last days of the Old Testament era, and that Scriptures predicted the coming Messiah. A Messiah that was a suffering Messiah and one that would be resurrected. The apostles didn’t get that during the lifetime of Christ. Finally when the Holy Spirit came, they understood it. But, these people understood it ahead of time.

The accuracy of Textual Transmission

One of the lessons that we learn is the meticulous view by which these Scriptures were copied. Interestingly, Josephus comments on this. He says, „We’ve been given practical proof of our reverence for our own Scriptures. For, although such long ages have now passed, no one has ventured either to add, or remove, or to alter a syllable, and it is an instinct with every Jew, from the day of his birth, to regard them as the decrees of God, to abide by them, and, if need be, cheerfully to die for them.” And that’s reflected in the processes of copying that we see in the records, in the manual of discipline, and in the artifacts that have been excavated. They copied every letter after they finished copying a page. And if the tally did not match, they threw it away and started over. So it wasn’t just copying, and hopefully they got it right. They had ways to check.

We now have with this, manuscripts 1,000 years older than any manuscripts that existed before the discovery of the dead sea scrolls. The oldest that we had before the dead sea scrolls were discovered were the Aleppo Codex. This was the Masoretic text, that dated to 900 A.D., talking about Old Testament text. When the King James Bible was translated, that’s the best we could do. And up until the 1940’s, that’s well over 1000 years (dead sea scrolls are) after the prophets (O T Prophets wrote them). Copying them for 1000 years, it has to produce some changes. It couldn’t be like the original. Well, now then, we have the Isaiah scroll 1000 years earlier, and so we can check. What happened between the 1000 years that intervened between the oldest scrolls and the newer ones? They compare perfectly. They are identical, word for word in 95% of the text. The other 5% involve obvious slips of the pen and spelling mistakes. There is no significant difference at all. And it is one scroll from beginning to end.

When we understand the way they did it, and how it compares there is no longer a reasonable charge. The latest Old Testament book was written 325 B.C. The oldest Dead Sea scrolls was written about 300 B.C. It is less than a generation removed from the original that we have copies today. Although we don’t have the originals, we have what goes right back to it. If you have less than a generation removed from the original, you can’t be worried about that 25 years if you look at the accuracy within 1000 years (to the Dead Sea Scrolls). If you are determined not to believe you have an excuse. I think God does that to those that are not honest. But, to honest, reasonable people it’s not reasonable to think that this is not like the original. We can get to within less than a generation. And then, with the New Testament we have that which was written during the lifetime of the eyewitnesses who saw the crucifixion, who saw these events take place. It was written then, probably about 50 A.D., before the prophetic events (Jerusalem) that occurred before 70 A.D., and we can prove that (with the Mark fragment). Now that’s significant.

Our text is dependable. Our view of prophecy is not something that was spinned hundreds of years later, but was inferred directly from the Old Testament, even before Christ. And the New Testament was written during the lifetime of the people who saw it. We have dependable text, and it’s not reasonable to think otherwise. And therefore, we conclude, just exactly what Isaiah concludes, as inspiration from God:

Isaiah 40:7-8 The grass withers and the flowers fall, because the breath of the Lord blows on them. Surely the people are grass. The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.”

There’s an exception, and it  has to be a supernatural exception, and it is by God’s promise that the word of God stands forever. And we can defend that proposition and show that it’s unreasonable to deny it.

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R.C. Sproul – (1) The Holiness of God – Isaiah 6

From the 2007 Desiring God conference. For notes or audio file:  click here for the Desiring God website (www.desiringGod.org)

Text – Isaiah 6:1-8

Isaiah’s Vision

6 In the year of King Uzziah’s death I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, lofty and exalted, with the train of His robe filling the temple. Seraphim stood above Him, each having six wings: with two he covered his face, and with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew.And one called out to another and said,

“ Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts,
The  whole earth is full of His glory.”

And the foundations of the thresholds trembled at the voice of him who called out, while the  temple was filling with smoke. Then I said,

“ Woe is me, for I am ruined!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I live among a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts.”

Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a burning coal in his hand, which he had taken from the altar with tongs. He touched my mouth with it and said, “Behold, this has touched your lips; and your iniquity is taken away and your sin is forgiven.”

Isaiah’s Commission

Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I. Send me!” He said, “Go, and tell this people:

‘Keep on listening, but do not perceive;
Keep on looking, but do not understand.’
10 “ Render the hearts of this people  insensitive,
Their ears dull,
And their eyes dim,
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
Hear with their ears,
Understand with their hearts,
And return and be healed.”

A few (my) notes from the message given at the Desiring God Conference:

  • If we are to desire God, it is imperative that we desire the God who is and not a god of our own imagination and what I’ve appreciated about John’s (Piper) ministry over these many  decades is that he knows who God is. And he doesn’t seek to hide the true God from people for convenience’s sake, but has been relentless and courageous, as we all must be to proclaim and set forth for all the people of God, the character of God in all of His glory.
  • Sproul states that Isaiah 6 is his favorite text that sets forth the holiness of God. Isaiah chapter 6 gives to us the record of Isaiah’s call to be a prophet. In order to be a prophet in ancient Israel it was a lonely task because at the forefront of that vocation was to be a prosecutor of God against people that violated the terms of their covenant with God. So, the life expectancy of a prophet in Israel was about the same as a first lieutenant in combat. It was not a pleasurable enterprise and the land was filled with false prophets, who made the task of the authentic prophet all the more difficult. And the thing that distinguished the false prophet from the true prophet was not simply that the true prophet was faithful to the word that God had given him, but, the true prophet was called directly and immediately by God. That’s why the prophets were so zealous to record the circumstances of their call, which Isaiah has done for us here in this chapter (Isaiah 6).
  • After reading Isaiah 6:1-10: What you have just heard is the unvarnished word of God. This is not an insight delivered from an ancient Hebrew teacher. This is a word that comes from heaven, with all of its inspiration, infallibility and inerrancy. Before which words, we as mortals should tremble. I don’t know what year King Uzziah died, sometime in the 8th century BC, but there is a bit of irony when pinpointing the kink’s demise as corresponding to the same year that a little village was founded across the Mediterranean, the village that would be named Roma. The city that, centuries later would provoke intersection between the force of the mightiest empire of antiquity with the man that was the chief subject of the future prophecy of Isaiah. The year Roma was born Isaiah was commissioned as a prophet of God. (Sproul suggests further reading on King Uzziah in 2 Chronicles ch. 26) Those of us familiar with Chronicles and Kings know that it reads like a rogue gallery, because most of the monarchs in Judah and in Israel were men of unspeakable wickedness and infidelity. We are hard pressed to find even a handful of Godly kings during that period. But, if we were to rate the great kings of that nation, surely David would be accorded first place. And in any important list of monarchs we would include Josiah and Hezekiah. But, we should  never exclude from that list this man who was Uzziah.
  • Uzziah came to the throne when he was 16 years old and he reigned in Jerusalem for 52 years. And, perhaps the only king in the history of the Jewish people, that had greater accomplishments on the battlefield then Uzziah was David himself.   Uzziah built the strength of the military to a level rivaling that of David. His agricultural project reforms brought unprecedented prosperity to the land. And, the Bible says of this king that for most of his reign that he did that which was right in the face of the Lord. Unfortunately, toward the end of his reign he became full of himself and he ended his life like a Shakespearean tragic hero. He got so puffed up with himself that he irrigated  his own province the right to perform the task of the priesthood. And so, he entered with his censor into the temple and moved to offer incense there, which absolutely shocked the priest. It horrified them in fact and they moved one man to stop the king from this act of sacrilege and they pled with him and said, „King, you are not permitted to minister here, in the sanctuary. God has set us apart for that task”. When they protested this intrusion into their domain, Uziiah became furious and demanded they give way so that he could perform what he wanted to do. At that instant God struck him with leprosy and forbade him any further entrance into the temple. He could no longer be the king, he could no longer worship in the presence of his people and he was consigned to solitary confinement in his dying days.
  • So, this man’s 52 year reign ended in shame and in disgrace. However, when he died it was truly the end of an era. And, when a monarch of this duration passes from the scene, there’s a sense of unsettled spirits among the people. They don’t know what the future will bring and I don’t know if that was the psychology that provoked Isaiah to enter into the temple. I don’t even know if he was in the ‘earthly’ temple  or if the vision he records here was a visit into the heavenly temple. In any case, the throne of Israel was vacant.
  • „I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne”- At approx. 14th minute Sproul explains the difference between the word Lord and LORD. LORD Yahweh is the name of God.  Add on Adonai, is the supreme title for God. God has many names in the Old Testament, but, the title that I say, that was most exalted is the title Adonai, which means ‘the one who is absolutely sovereign’. The God who is holy is the God who is sovereign.  He is Adonai, the supreme ruler of heaven and earth. Translation in the New Testament, of the Old Testament’s Adonai is the Greek word Kyrios (κύριος) for the title LORD. And, you know that title can be used in different ways. What is astonishing is that that  title which for the most part is reserved for God in the Old Testament Scriptures, is now given to the Son of God.
  • Philippians 2:9 ‘Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name,”. What is this name that is above every name? Most people say, „Jesus”. No, that is not what Paul says. The name that is above every name is the name Adonai. The name Kyrios (κύριος), which is given to Jesus. And so Paul concludes that „at the name of Jesus, let every knee bow and every tongue confess that He is Adonai. John tells us that the content of this vision that Isaiah beheld was of the exalted Son of God, on the throne, prior to His incarnation.

  • Verse 1 – „I saw the Lord, sitting on a throne, high and lifted up. The train of His robe filled the temple. In the ancient times, the status of a ruler, the loftiness of a king, in many ways was measured by the stuff and substance of his garments. Were they purple? White, ermine, mink or simply wool? How big was the train of his garment? Here, Isaiah sees a monarch on the throne, high and lifted up and the train of his garment is so massive, that it furls over the sides of the throne into the front of the sanctuary and encompasses the entire interior of the sanctuary. There had never been a king like this before, where the train of his robe would fill the temple. That’s what Isaiah saw as he gazed into heaven.
  • „And above Him stood Seraphim, and what follows is an anatomical description of the seraphim. One of the most remarkable aspects of God’s work of creation is the efficiency with which God makes His creatures. He makes them and shapes them suitable for their environment. When He makes the Seraphim , He creates them with the anatomy suitable for their environment, because the immediate environment of seraphim is the presence of God.  And to be in the presence of God and the presence of His unveiled glory, every moment of the day, requires a certain anatomical apparatus. They’re given 2 wings to cover their eyes. Remember when Moses was on the mountain and he makes the great request; he said, „Lord, let me see your face”. And you know what God said, he said, „Moses, I don’t think you understand what you are asking for. I will carve out a cleft in the rock, I will place you there and I will pass you by and I will pass by you and let you have a momentary glance at my back, but My face shall not be seen. To look upon My face is to die”. Looking into the face of God is banned from our eyes, from the first sin. And the reason why we cannot see God is not because there is an innate deficiency with our eyesight. The problem is not with the eye, it’s with the soul. In the Beatitudes, who is given the promise that they will see God? The pure in heart. They shall see God. Moses’ heart was not yet pure; he wasn’t allowed to see God. We have that eschatological promise that John tells us, „We don’t know yet what we’re gonna be like, but, we do know this, that when He comes, we will be like Him because we will see Him as He is- in His essence. Not by way of some refraction of glory, not by way of a simple burning bush, theophany or pillar of cloud or of fire, but we will see Him as He is (which is called the beatific vision, the vision that will give to our souls its supreme blessedness. But, in the meantime, He remains invisible, hidden from our eyes, inaccessible and His glory is so intense that even when His shekinah is manifested on this planet, to the eyes of the people like Saul on the road to Damascus, he’s blinded by it and it is so glorious in its intensity, that even the angels who are made to live in the immediate presence of God  every day, have to shield their eyes from the brilliance of His glory.
  • With 2 wings he covers his feet. Why that? The feet, biblically, are symbols of creatureliness. Back to Moses when he notices the bush that is burning without being consumed and the voice comes out of the bush saying to him, „Moses, Moses, take off your shoes from off your feet, for the ground on which you are standing is holy ground”. What made it holy? It was the intersection, the visitation when God came into his (Moses) presence. (Moses) your feet are a symbol that you are of the dust. Your frame is of dust and your feet are of clay and in My presence, you cover your creatureliness.  And, even the angels, the seraphim’s in heaven, as exalted as they are, are still creatures, and so they cover their feet in the presence of God.
  • The other 2 wings are for flying. But, the real import of this vision that Isaiah records is not found in the anatomy of the seraphim, but in their message. ‘One called to another’, I imagine that this was some heavenly chorus, ‘Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts”- the God of the heavenly armies- the whole earth is full of His glory (his weightiness, his substance, his majesty- that provokes the angels to sing, „Holy, Holy, Holy”, what we call the three time holy. What’s the significance of that to the Jew? If they wanted  to express emphasis they used  repetition. Paul and also our Lord did it all the time. Do you notice that the seraphim’s don’t say that „God is holy”. Nor are they content to say that He is „Holy, Holy”. But the heavenly song that celebrates the character of God, declares that He is „Holy, Holy, Holy!” You see, taken now to the 3rd degree, taken now to the superlative degree, nowhere else in Scripture is an attribute of God elevated to the 3rd degree. The Bible does not say „God is love, love, love”. Or „mercy, mercy, mercy”. Or „justice, justice, justice”. Or even „sovereign, sovereign, sovereign”. But, that He is „Holy, Holy, Holy”. (40 th minute with 20 more minutes to go)

Great Isaiah Scroll exhibit showcases Bible’s history at Biola University

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