I Cor. 16:9  “For a wide door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.”

April 13, 2007

Prayers Over a week ago Pastor D. Paul, President of the BELC, was involved in a motorcycle accident in which another cycle ran into him on his cycle.  He has suffered a fractured arm. His right leg is also in splints and he has to be in bed for at least 15 days until he tries to walk.  Please pray to our Lord that He will heal Pastor D.Paul as quickly as possible and that he can resume his duties in the BELC, as well as his family duties.  

“Empty Tomb” The ancient world boasted of seven wonders: the pyramids of Egypt; the hanging gardens of Babylon; the temple of the goddess Diana at Ephesus; the lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt; the Colossus (huge bronze statue) in the harbor at Rhodes; the statue of the pagan god Zeus at Olympia, Greece; and the tomb of the Persian king Halicarnassus. Of all those ancient wonders, only the pyramids are still standing.  All the others have crumbled, along with the ancient world powers whose accomplishments they memorialized.  But another wonder from the ancient world is still very much alive today.  This wonder is more significant than all seven of these ancient landmarks put together.  This is the wonder of the empty tomb of Jesus at Jerusalem. When the body of Jesus was placed in the tomb, the forces of evil were certain they had won the victory at last.  but Jesus was raised on the third day.  His resurrection proved that he was more powerful than sin and death and all the other negative forces that Satan uses against us. Wonder of wonders, Jesus lives!  And his dynamic power is available to all who place their faith and trust in him.

A Study of the Apostle’s (Part 6) Matthew
He is called Matthew in Lk. 6:15 and Acts 1:13, while in Mk. 2:14 his Jewish name is given – Levi, the son of Alphaeus. And it is just ‘Levi’ in Lk. 5:27-29 His call is recorded in Mt. 9:9. As Jesus came to his tax table, He said ‘Follow Me.’ Tax collectors were regarded by the Jews as traitors because they assisted the Romans. Furthermore the tax collectors were
viewed as being crooked. Luke records the great joy Matthew has in following Jesus
by telling how Levi gave a great feast in his house. Lk. 5:29-32 He invited other sinners who needed Jesus also.

You might think that since this apostle wrote one of the Gospels we would know more about him. But the Gospel was about Jesus not Matthew. He does quote the Old Testament ninety-nine times. And his outreach was to the Jews both in his Gospel presentation as well as for eight to fifteen years after the ascension as he preached in Judea.

His outreach efforts also led him to reach out to the Jews abroad according to tradition. But that was not alone who he witnessed to, as he did also to the Gentiles. In the fourth century a church historian writes of how Matthew preached in Ethiopia and Arabia. The question on ‘Ethiopia’ is whether this was the area now known by that name in Africa or a region in Persia. Some say he even went as far as Persia. Another tradition has him working with
Andrew on the coast of the Black Sea. One ancient writer affirms that he was slain by the sword in Ethiopia while another says it was in Parthia.

James the Son of Zebedee
Of the three men in the inner circle of apostles James was the eldest. He worked with his brother in fishing on the shore of Galilee. His mother’s name was Salome and she may have been a relative(even a sister) of Mary, our Lord’s mother. Jesus called James and John, Boanerges or Sons of Thunder, likely indicating their forceful preaching. Mk. 3:17 As one of the inner circle of three we see him: in the house at the raising of Jairus’ daughter
– Mk. 5:37, on the Mt. of Transfiguration – Mt. 17:1, questioning Jesus privately on the Mount of Olives – Mk. 13:3, praying more privately in Gethsemane – Mk. 14:33.

He with his brother asked Jesus if they shouldn’t call down fire on some who did not regard the Lord rightly. Lk. 9:51-56 Jesus rebuked the brothers for this. At another time the brothers with their mother asked for the positions of honor at Jesus right and left when He came into His kingdom. Mt. 20:20-24 A bit presumptuous and also mistaken on what the kingdom was all about.

It was seventeen years from the time James believed and he was martyred. It has been advanced that in the 14 years from the ascension until his death he went to Spain. Jesus certainly prepared him for this. He was the first of the apostles to die the violent martyr’s death. James had learned. Eusebius quotes Clement of Alexandria on James’ death: “(Clement) says that the one who led James to the judgment-seat, when he saw him bearing his testimony, was moved, and confessed that he was himself also a Christian. They
were both therefore, he says led away together; and on the way he begged James to
forgive him. And (James), after considering a little, said, ‘Peace be with you,’ and kissed him. And thus they were both beheaded at the same time.” This was in 44.

Hermeneutics – Figures of Speech An excellent book that we have handed out to some of our brothers is “Biblical Interpretation: The Only Right Way” by Kuske. You can read in it of the proper interpretation as we have been going over it in figures of speech as well as in more areas.


We all know what the cross has come to symbolize. So in Scripture we have symbols like the cross. When we see the rainbow in the sky it reminds us that God will not destroy this world again with water as He did in Noah’s day. Gen. 9:12-16


Especially in the Old Testament we had pictures or patterns of what was yet to come. The lamb of the Passover meal was a picture of Jesus who as John the baptizer said is “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The high priest was a type of what Christ would be as we read in Heb. 9:6,7,11,12. Moses was a type or picture of what  Christ would be  as we read in Deut. 18:15. Melchisedec, while a real person in the Old Testament time of Abraham, was also a picture of what Christ would be. Heb. 7 In  this area of types we see how Scripture interprets Scripture as we go from the Old Testament to the New Testament, from the type to the ultimate fulfillment.   Pastor Koenig