Saturday, May 15, 2021

Peter-New Testament Paper

 



























New Testament Book Overview













Bible 102: New Testament Introduction

1 May 2021

Word Count: 2,8277

Introduction

Deny, deny, deny! How does the apostle Peter overcome the lowest point of his life? Peter whose name was Simon encounters Jesus with his brother Andrew fishing in the Sea of Galilee. Jesus calls Simon to become a fisherman of men so with that Jesus gave him a new name of Peter. “Peter’s name literally meant ‘rock.’ Jesus gave him this name when first met him in John 1:42, and later said Peter would be the rock ‘on which I will build my church,’solidifying Peter’s position as a leader” (Nelson). Jesus poured his life into his inner circle which included Peter who “plays a significant role among the Twelve. Peter is often singled out and the rest are mentioned as a group with him. He also acts as a spokesman for the group” (Closson). When Jesus sends out the twelve disciples he lists Peter first like a foreshadowing that Peter will have great authority and influence in the future. Peter is with Jesus at the climax of Jesus’ ministry when Jesus asks him who does he believe Jesus to be which Peter proclaims Jesus as Messiah. Jesus took Peter, James, and John to the op of a mountain where Peter experienced the transfiguration of Jesus. The downfall of Peter was when Jesus was arrested as the words prophesied by Jesus comes true as “immediately the roster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times. And he broke down and wept” (New Application Study Bible Mark 14:72). It is on the beach while fishing that Jesus appears so Peter jumps in the water to swim to him. Jesus once again singles Peter out when he asks him three times “Simon son of John, do you love me?” (John 21:16) Peter answers with a yes each time. Peter’s life transformed knowing Jesus had forgiven him and then commissioned him to feed Jesus’ sheep. Jesus changed this fisherman into an evangelist. Peter’s identity changed from impulsively immature to a bold powerful dynamic speaker during Jesus’ ascension through the Holy Spirit. Peter finally understood the significance of Jesus’ words about his death and resurrection.

But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him” (Acts 2:24). The foundation of Christian faith rests on the basic fact of the empty tomb. It was the Apostle Peter who first raised his voice at Pentecost when the zeal of the Holy Spirit came upon the apostles. Peter’s powerful spirit-filled message was filled with passion and conviction as he was a witness to Jesus’ life, crucifixion, death, resurrection, and ascension into heaven. Peter’s words transformed his audience who included Jews and Gentiles into unity in Christ that moved from salvation for one particular group to universal salvation which is available to everyone. Peter redefines Jesus’ purpose that he came to not establish a political kingdom, but to take the weight of the cross. Peter’s influence on this day is when the church began its mission to spread the good news of faith as the foundation of salvation through Christ to the world.

Background

The Roman Emperor, Nero, was one of the most notorious leaders known for executing anyone who didn’t agree with him. Under his rule, Rome was heavily taxed with the upper class benefiting from the rest of the population under the great strain of slavery. In 64 AD, a colossal fire broke out and destroyed most of Rome. Taking advantage of the destruction, Nero blamed the early Christians of starting the blaze. He ordered that Christians be rounded up and killed. Nero took pleasure in killing Christians. He would put then into his coliseum to be eaten by lions as an audience watched. He burned them alive as human torches to light his garden at night. The Roman Empire influenced acceptance of Christian persecutions by both Romans and Greeks. Christians were called out for their “refusal to sacrifice to the Roman gods and potentially endangering the empire which they deigned to protect” (Lunn-Rockliffe). Christians refusal to sacrifice to the emperor who was a semi-divine monarch was both looked as sacrilege and treason. Since ancient religion was a public affair, Christians had to account for their allegiance for their new religion. “The gods, after all, serve as patrons and protectors of the communities. Noncompliance by Christians is a social threat” (Burge & Green, 517). Many Jews did not want to be legally associated with Christians. Jews also harmed Christians physically, drove them out of their towns, and turned them into Roman officials. Peter being fully aware of the persecution as he has experienced being threatened, jailed, and beaten. He had seen fellow Christians die and the church scattered. But he knew Christ, and nothing could shake his confidence in his risen Lord. Peter reached out to both Jews and Gentile teaching them what it means to take up the cross, how to be diligent in faith, and in perseverance comes reward when Christ returns.

Main Purpose/Themes/Sub-Themes

Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) proclaimed Peter with confidence of Jesus the Messiah whom was crucified but raised from the dead. The tomb could not hold him and has been exalted to right hand of God. As a witness, Peter confirms that the Holy Spirit has been poured out to whoever has ears to hear and eyes to see. He explains that one must turn to Christ, depend on him for forgiveness, mercy, guidance, and purpose. Peter further describes baptism as a sign of faith which identifies us with Christ and with the community of believers. Persecution pushed Christians beyond Jerusalem and into Judea and Samaria. Peter moved as the Holy Spirit moved and he spread the gospel that Jesus came to save the world from sin. He healed in Jesus name and many believed. He has a vision that leads him to the house of Cornelius. Cornelius and Peter were very different people. Cornelius was wealthy, a Gentile, and a military man. Peter was a Jewish fisherman turned preacher. God’s plan included both of them as it is a new chapter in Christian history. A Jewish Christian leader and a Gentile Christian convert discovered the significance of God at work in the other person. Peter experienced Cornelius’s salvation which was a bridge to his understanding that the Jews were chosen by God for a purpose which was to bring the message of salvation to all people. Peter’s formation of the church held to the truths Jesus had revealed to him. A spiritual house composed of living stones built upon Christ as the foundation. Jesus had encouraged Peter to care for the church as a shepherd tending his flock. Therefore, when Peter communicates with the early Church he uses the imagery of living stones, shepherds, and sheep to describe the church.

Peter’s 1st letter was written to the churches located throughout Bithynia, Pontus, Asia, Galatia, and Cappadocia. He begins with a reminder of his certainty of their salvation which “in his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into the inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade” (1 Peter 3). “The crux of the matter is the reaction of the Christians to their situation” (Burge & Green, 518). These new believers were in the midst of great persecution so Peter offers faithful believers comfort and hope. These new believers needed reassurance as Peter did when he was with Jesus. They needed to know their belief was not in vain, but that Jesus loved them so Peter wrote to them so they would understand to expect ridicule, rejection, and suffering because behind the hatred was Satan who wanted Jesus to bow to him and he would not, but was the victory and in that all men can overcome persecution. “Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with inexpressible and glorious joy, for you are receiving the end result of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Peter 1: 8). Peter’s faith was refined through persecution and he set himself as an example to others how to take up the cross by living a holy lifestyle. Not filled with laws and rituals but sincere love for one another. God’s love and forgiveness was freely given so they needed to take their eyes off themselves and start being selfless, self-centered, and instead meet the needs of others. This was the true sacrifice when a man lays down his life for others. Peter saw great joy in persecution “as you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him” (1 Peter 2:4). Jesus was the foundation and new believers were now the building stones of the church. Peter tells his flock to humbly obey God regardless of present circumstances and in good time he will lift them up, sot carry each other’s burdens and struggles together so when the attacks come they can be “alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings” (Peter 1: 8-9).

Peter’s second letter is of warning the family of believers that conflicts within the church would destroy it. He uses his authority as a courageous, experienced, and faithful apostle. This is the last letter from this great warrior whom would be soon martyred for his faith. In this letter he wrote as believers were becoming complacent and no longer growing as Christians, but rejecting their faith, listening to false teachers who distort the truth, and not being Christ-honoring individuals which infected the Christ-honoring church. True diligence in Christian growth is evident when believers don’t backslide or deceived by false teachers. “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his one glory and goodness.” (2 Peter 1:3). Peter reminds the church of the story from the Old Testament of Balaam who had evil motives so he used religion for personal advancement, but God intervened through a donkey. “Greed motivated the heretics (2:3, 14) as they exploit member of the church” (Burge & Green, 523). Peter highlights their their arrogance, denial of Jesus as their sovereign Lord, despising His authority, and scoffing the return of Jesus in the second coming. “These people are springs without water and mists driven by a storm. Blackest darkness is reserved to them” (2 Peter 2:17). Peter expresses in his letter to not fall for such corruption within the church. Stay diligent in their faith and serve each other in the love of Christ who gave his life so they would be saved and share in the promise of eternal life. Faith must be a result of action, growth in Christian character, and the practice of moral discipline. Peter referred back to proverbs that dogs return to vomit and sows wallow in mud after being cleaned. Christians must stay persistent in their growth in faith. This letter is an impassioned plea to believers to stand firm. “The spirit is a source without limit to empower people to keep moving in the right direction. With that growing maturity comes an increasing capacity to carry out our God-given assignments in the new creation. That growth also brings an increasing capacity to enjoy the rewards that lie ahead” (Ross, 162). The leaders of the church should be as shepherds that protect the flock as Jesus protects souls. “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to repentance” (2 Peter 3:19).

Conclusion
Peter was anxious as he wrote his letters as he knew he would die soon. He wanted to prepare the church as Christ had prepared him for the kind of death he would face. He wanted Christians to keep faith in Christ and stay diligent and like him “you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 11). Peter was assured in his death that he would be in the presence of Jesus because every person are accountable to God. He will punish evildoers and those who persecute God’s people. Those who love Him will be rewarded with life forever in his presence. “And I will make every effort to see that after my departure you will always be able to remember these things” (2 Peter 1: 15). It was important for Peter to teach that all with be held responsible for how people live each day. As Christians live out a holy life through Christ they have the hope of “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you” (1 Peter 1:4).

Peter describes several characteristics of good leaders in the early church, but still is the corner stone’s pillars of a spirit filled churches of today. They are caring of God’s flock, eager to serve, concerned with giving to others, and lead by example since God has entrusted leaders with his flock. Everyone within the church lead others in some way, so whatever your role you should stay in line with these characteristics. “And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away” (1 Peter 3:4). God has given us his scripture as the light of the Holy Spirit that is used to guide us as we seek the truth. God inspired writers like Peter to ensure the message he intended was faithfully communicated in the very words they wrote. He inspired others to avoid the mistakes of those wicked teachers by growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Today, Christians know they should be morally clean and spiritually alert which gives us our confidence in what is lasting and eternal and not be bound to earth, but strive to develop Christlike characteristics. In our believing faith it won’t come as a surprise when Christ, the Lord, comes like a thief as we don’t know the date, but “as you look forward to the day God and speed its coming” (2 Peter 3: 11). God’s purpose for people is not destruction, but to bring all to repentance of their sins so they can rely on Jesus’ sacrifice with renewal in the Holy Spirit as their guides to live a holy life until the day He returns. Peter’s heartfelt final farewell urged his readers to “grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen” (2 Peter 3: 18). Each day just draw closer to Christ. Be prepared to stand for truth. Look forward to being in the presence of Jesus as he is coming back for every person who believes in him. “As the only sinless being, he suffered the full penalty justice demands for all humanity’s sin against God and wrongdoing to others. Every evil thought, word, attitude, and action sin has produced or will ever produce was paid for by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross” (Ross, 161). Consequently, we will be holy people “who live in obedience, who serve as channels of grace, who display an attitude of faith, who hunger and thirst after righteousness and justice, who worship God wholeheartedly, and above all, who love God, one another, and our neighbors as ourselves” (Walton & Hill, 397). Peter’s message is resounding as he wanted all ready for when Jesus embraces you into His New Heaven with the cherished words of welcome, my good and faithful servant.























Bibliography

Burge, Gary M., and Gene L. Green. The New Testament in Antiquity: a Survey of the New

Testament within Its Cultural Contexts. Zondervan Academic, 2020.



Closson, Don. “Christ's Inner Circle – The Primary Apostles of Jesus.” Probe Ministries, 17 Oct. 2014, probe.org/christs-inner-circle/.

Life Application Study Bible: NIV. Zondervan, 2019.

Lunn-Rockliffe, Dr Sophie. “History - Ancient History in Depth: Christianity and the Roman Empire.” BBC, BBC, 17 Feb. 2011, www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/romans/christianityromanempire_article_01.shtml#:~:text=Christians%20were%20first%20%2D%20and%20horribly,that%20Nero%20himself%20was%20responsible.

Nelson, Ryan. “Who Was the Apostle Peter? The Beginner's Guide.” OverviewBible, 6 Aug. 2020, overviewbible.com/apostle-peter/.



Ross, Hugh. Why the Universe Is the Way It Is. Baker Books, 2008.



Walton, John H., and Andrew E. Hill. Old Testament Today: a Journey from Original Meaning to Contemporary Significance. Zondervan, 2004.







I Am Statement Paper

 



























I Am” Statement Essay













Bible 102: New Testament Introduction

17 April 2021

Word Count: 1292

Who does this guy think he is? This Jesus who claims to be the great “I am.” Jews know that title is reserved for the redemptive Abrahamic covenant God who promised that his presence stayed with his people through the tabernacle as God moved with ancestors in the wilderness. “The tabernacle was built and the priest-hood prepared so that God could come and take up residence. God had chosen them to his people” (Walton & Hill, 74). When Jewish ancestors entered the Promised Land they built a temple so that God would have a dwelling place among His people. Our Jewish religious sacrificial system is set in rituals and cultural customs. This Jesus challenges all of those by stating that he is the sacrifice and we no longer need a building made by human hands to be atoned for sins, but through Jesus as “I am” of the Old Testament Moses spoke of and fulfilled as the prophets foretold. The crowd stirred with anger against Jesus as Jewish leaders accused him of blasphemy. Jews atoned for sins through the priest in the temple, so when Jesus claimed to be the “bread of life,” light of the world,” and “the good shepherd” so many Jews didn’t understand this promise of a new covenant. “Jesus applies the title “I Am” to himself, he claims to be God. Not a helper to God or a great teacher, but the divine, eternal, pre-existent, infinite, perfect being” (indycrowe). Being dominated by Roman rule, Jews were under great oppression. “There were many in Palestine who were proclaiming that the coming kingdom, predicted in the Old Testament, would come by means of a military overthrow. Jesus came upon the scene and proclaimed God’s kingdom was at hand but said it would belong to the meek, not the strong. His ministry was one of mercy, not judgment” (Stewart).

Jews were so entrenched in their own religious system that they refused to let the Son of God change their lives. Even when Jesus didn’t send the crowd away, but were witnesses to his miracle of feeding everyone they refused to believe his words of “I am the bread that came down from heaven” (New Application Study Bible John 6:41). Bread was a physical necessity so in the wilderness God gave people manna from heaven, so how could this Jesus claim that he came down from heaven as bread? The Jewish people saw Jesus feeding them as temporary and only to meet their physical needs. They could not accept Jesus’ claim of divinity. Jesus continued to speak about himself as the eternal bread from heaven. The people needed spiritual food and he was there to give them that nourishment if they would just listen and receive him. Jesus was from heaven to give his life for all people so they would have access to eternal life.

Jewish people did not understand Jesus as their salvation of all nations as foretold by Old Testament prophets like “I will put my spirit on him, and he will bring justice to the nations” (Isaiah 42:1). The Jewish people wanted freedom from their physical slavery, so they looked to Jesus to be a leader that would conquer the Romans and take the place his their king. Jesus instead spoke to the crowds that he would lead, but that “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8: 12). Jewish ancestors told of the importance of remembering how God illuminated light through a pillar of fire to guide them to the promised land when they were freed from Egyptian slavery. The crowd didn’t understand that Jesus was speaking about freeing them from the enslavement of sin. The pharisees challenged him because they refused to recognize him as Messiah and Lord. They influenced the crowd to reject Jesus who was there to rescue them from their sin and lead them out of the darkness into his perfect light as He is the only path to eternal kingdom with God.

The pharisees were shocked that Jesus accused them of being spiritually blind. They were unable to recognize their own sinful arrogance and stubbornness so unfit for leadership. The crowd listened to the exchange as Jesus responded that He alone is Israel’s true shepherd. He was there to serve God’s agenda, so challenged the false doctrines of the pharisees. This reference to a being a good shepherd was understood by the crowd as told in Old Testament prophecy “the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch. A King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land” (Jeremiah 23: 5). Jesus explained he came to seek and feed his sheep. Jesus proclaimed the good news that “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:14). Jesus foretold that the Jewish people would reject him, but his focus was on loving and guiding his flock to spiritual forgiveness. Jesus was right as listening to him the people were divided in thinking he was a mad-man or believing because he was able to perform so many miracles that he truly was who he claimed to be; the one true God. The Jewish people didn’t understand that Jesus was offering people abundant life that was eternal. Jesus’ death and resurrection was part of God’s plan for the salvation of the world.

The Jewish people still were set on confining Jesus in a human box, so that limited them because of their restricted vision. “Jesus claimed to be the promised Messiah but was rejected by His people. The hearts of the people were hardened to the truth, there was corrupt religious leadership who would not receive his claims. Therefore it was the sin of the people that kept them from accepting Jesus as the Promised One” (Stewart). Jesus was indeed the Messiah, so his statements that he was the “bread of life,” light of the world,” and “the good shepherd” were metaphors to help explain his divinity. Jesus was not who they were expecting. Jesus did not come to overthrow the rule of Rome, but to give his life as a sacrifice for sins. Jesus was not merely a teacher, but God. Ultimately, the people Jesus gave his life for were not able see him as Messiah as they shouted to crucify him. Christ’s death on the cross made a personal relationship with God available to all. Jesus’ resurrection gave believers a personal and direct path to God. Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, through whom all can receive eternal life. “John describes Jesus’s movement toward his ‘glorification’ on the cross: his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and burial. This is no tragedy, but rather a further opportunity to unveil Jesus’ true mission from God” (Burge & Green, 269). Through his life, death, and resurrection, Jesus began a movement that changed the point of view of the people to recognize his authority. The people then understood Jesus as greater than they ever imagined possible.





























Bibliography

Burge, Gary M., and Gene L. Green. The New Testament in Antiquity: a Survey of the

NewTestament within Its Cultural Contexts. Zondervan Academic, 2020.

“If Jesus Was the Messiah, Why Did His People Reject Him?” Blue Letter Bible, www.blueletterbible.org/faq/don_stewart/don_stewart_1334.cfm.

indycrowe, Author. “The 7 ‘I AM’ Statements of Jesus: OT Background & NT Meaning.” Indycrowe, 10 Jan. 2021, indycrowe.com/2019/02/13/the-7-i-am-statements-of-jesus-ot-background-nt-meaning/.

Life Application Study Bible: NIV. Zondervan, 2019.

Walton, John H., and Andrew E. Hill. Old Testament Today: a Journey from Original Meaning to Contemporary Significance. Zondervan, 2004.







Jeremiah Paper

 















Jeremiah













Tanya Attebery

Bible 101: Old Testament Introduction

28 February 2021

Word Count: 2718

Introduction

Jeremiah was a voice during a very deaf generation. He stood alone declaring God’s messages of doom to Judah who had no willingness to listen to him. He was stricken with opposition by not only the kings and false priests, but to his great sadness his family and friends. Jeremiah would be found weeping over the fate of his beloved country as he knew it was coming with the judgment of God who was going to allow Judah to be taken into exile by Babylon. His dedication to stay aligned with God’s word as his spokesman for forty years is what drew me to this prophet. His passion never strayed while speaking God’s message. He was dismissed, ostracized, and isolated from his people by being thrown into prison and then a cistern. His God fearing love just exudes through his message even though he agonized over his message that he had to deliver just speaks to his dedication and how he worked through so much rejection from people.

Even through it all and his hope his people would turn from their sins and repent so God would not punish the nation, he stood firm in his faithfulness and obedience to God. Jeremiah is an example to me that the reception of God’s word by an audience is not the measure of his success. The prophet Jeremiah, as seen in week 7 video 3 fulfilled all the parts of an delivering an oracle. He confronted the people with indictments and judgements because God’s sovereignty would not allow the nation to stay in their state of rebellion and sin therefore there would be consequences. Jeremiah secondly provided instructions for the people to repent and turn to God’s character which reveals his love and mercy for his people, so once their time of punishment ended he would restore their hope. Lastly, Jeremiah gave the people God’s plan for the aftermath of his judgment. Jeremiah provided guidance on God’s renewal of His covenant with the nation by returning them back to their beloved country and reestablishing his promise of redemption for the whole world.

Historical Background

Jeremiah was a prophet to the southern kingdom of Judah in the Old Testament, right before Judah ultimately fell to Babylon and was led away into captivity” (Roat). Jeremiah was born the son of Hilkiah, who was one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. Jeremiah lived and prophesied for 40 years under the last five kings of Judah: Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedikiah. “Jeremiah was the most important voice during this time. He was called as a prophet as a teenager at a critical juncture in history” (Walton & Hill, 235) during the thirteenth year of the reign of Josiah. At this time, Judah found itself in the middle of the Babylonian, Egyptian, and Assyrian battle for world supremacy. The southern kingdom had watched as the northern kingdom of Israel fell to Assyria in 721 B.C. while Judah avoided Assyrian destruction under king Hezekiah. Jeremiah then proclaimed Assyria’s downfall and the rise of Babylon control. Jeremiah addressed Judah’s climate of deterioration economically, politically, morally, and spiritually. Jeremiah was faced with a society that deemed God’s word as offensive. Jeremiah became a prophet in 627 B.C. and his ministry ended in 586 B.C.. Jeremiah delivered two famous temple sermons in Jeremiah 7:1-5 and Jeremiah 26: 1-24. “He denounced the people for their dependence on the Temple for security and called on them to effect genuine ethical reform” (britannica.com) as he predicted the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem and the city and the ultimate sorrow of being exiled. “His greatest contribution is found in his proclamation of the new covenant (New Application Study Bible, Jeremiah 31:31-33). As this unfolds, it becomes the basis of the covenant initiated by Christ with his church.” (Walton & Hill, 245).



Main Purpose/Theme/Sub-Themes

Jeremiah raised the conception of the bond between God and His people far above the conceptions of a physical relation, and transferred piety from mere objective ceremonies into the human heart” (jewishencyclopedia.com ). Jeremiah, being God’s spokesman, provided indictments and warnings of judgments that would affect the whole nation from the king to the lowliest peasant. His main goal was to urge God’s people to recognize their violations of the covenant with God which was their disobedience to the law by worshiping other gods. In Jeremiah chapter 2 verse 8, he focused on the priests who were detestable in God’s sight because they were not speaking against false prophets who were prophesying through Baal and letting the people worship worthless idols. He brought his complaint to the people who were following false prophets because they were telling the people what they wanted to hear. Jeremiah proclaimed “they are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatries and the delusions of their own minds” (Jer. 14:14) He warned them that they had seen Israel be disgraced and now Judah was following in their footsteps because “although you wash yourself with soap and use an abundance of cleansing powder, the stain of your guilt is still before me” (Jer. 2:22). Jeremiah was calling them on their sin and that they needed spiritual cleansing that only God could remove. The people had gone so astray they didn’t even observe the Sabbath day as holy. Their sacrifices to God were empty without true repentance. Jeremiah spoke of God’s condemnation by saying “The Lord said to me, “Faithless Israel is more righteous than unfaithful Judah” (Jer. 3:11).

It was this unfaithfulness that led Jeremiah to also speak of upcoming judgments of the kingdom of Judah if they chose not to repent of their sins and come back to God’s covenant. Jeremiah reminded the nation of their history and that God honors his covenant of blessings, but Judah’s worship of idols, hardened hearts and refusal to follow God's will would lead to the destruction of their beloved Jerusalem temple, city, and also be exiled by Babylon. Jeremiah warned that “a besieging army is coming from a distant land, raising a war cry against the cities of Judah” (Jer. 4:16). Jeremiah told the people that a drought of judgment was coming, but because the people had become so evil that he would not hear their prayers for rain. Through Jeremiah’s words, God continued to withdraw his blessings from Judah which included his love and pity for them. Jeremiah proclaimed “before your eyes and in your days I will bring an end to the sounds of joy and gladness and to the voices of bride and bridegroom in this place” (Jer. 16:9). Jeremiah had spoken many times over many years to urge them to turn from their sin and back to God, but they would not listen. God removed his empathy as he sent destroyers who would cut down Judah and its great city of Jerusalem. God knew the people would question his judgments and he told Jeremiah to answer them “because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord and have worshiped and served other gods” (Jer. 22:9). Jeremiah even told the people not to weep over Judah’s king’s death, but weep more loudly for those being exiled as some may never return to their native land again.

Jeremiah conveyed instructions on how to put a stop to the impending judgments he laid out for the people of Judah. In Jeremiah 7, he “warns the people that their rituals mean nothing to God if they fail to change their ways” (Walton & Hill, 255). His instruction began with the hearts of the people to stop arousing God’s anger against them by turning from worshipping false Gods. Jeremiah tried to guide people through God’s word to “obey me and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in obedience to all I command you that it may go well with you” (Jer.7:23). Jeremiah directed people to acknowledge that away from God will cause curses, so the people should want God’s blessings by trusting in God and his word. Jeremiah called the people to reform their ways and actions along with rebuking their stubbornness because God was devising a plan against them that could be avoided if the people would just remove the evil from their hearts. The people had turned against Jeremiah, so he had his scribe try to proclaim God’s word to the people by reading from a scroll to turn from their wicked ways to avoid God’s anger and wrath. Jeremiah did as God commanded him by instructing the people to renew their part of the covenant to serve the one true God and God in return would honor his people with blessings not curses.

Jeremiah preached a lot of doom and punishment. However, his message was ultimately one of repentance and restoration. God was quick to remind his people that although there would be consequences for their sin, He still had a plan” (Roat). In his oracles, Jeremiah spoke God’s word of the aftermath of his judgment. God reassured the people that they would have consequences to their sin, but in his compassion for them he allowed Jeremiah to speak of hope where he tells Judah that “the whole land will be ruined, though I will not destroy it completely” (Jer. 4:27). This would be a comfort to the people who Jeremiah specifically told they would be exiled for seventy years. God’s grace told the nation they would be uprooted, but that after that time they would return back to their homeland and inheritance. In Jeremiah 29:11, it states “for I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” God promised them that their beloved Jerusalem along with the holy temple would be rebuilt. God gave Jeremiah specific prophecies so God’s people would know it was the word of God as he told them that an army from the north would come and would allow them to be released from exile back to the promised land. God also reassured his people that he would not destroy their cities again once they have been brought back to their homeland as God would fulfill the renewal of his covenant. Jeremiah built upon his message to not just the physical return of the people to their land, but also the transformation of their hearts. God’s promise of restoration would be fulfilled as God declared “This is the covenant, I will make with the people of Israel after that time, declares the Lord. I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people” (Jer. 31:33). God told the nation that he would send a new shepherd who would lead them into a new covenant and into a new day of hope. “The days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David’s righteous branch. A King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land” (Jer. 23:5). This King would be called “the Lord our Righteous Savior” (Jer. 23:6). This redemptive promise would reach not only the nation of Israel, but reach throughout the whole world.

Conclusion

Jeremiah’s work is relevant today because he continually urged people to focus on the inner spirit of worship and not the external religious practices. His prophecies are interwoven with the message to stop relying on a physical temple, but that the temple would be located in the hearts of each person. Jeremiah’s prophecies influenced future prophets like Ezra who reminded Israel of the blessings of God as his word was fulfilled by them returning to their land from exile. God’s word stands the test of time in the Old Testament to the New Testament and into the times laid out in Revelation. Today, believers know that Jesus came to die for the redemption of the world. In Hebrews chapter 3, Paul reminds people that Jesus came for us to gain individual personal access to the Father. “Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, bearing witness to what would be spoken by God in the future. But Christ is faithful as the Son over God’s house, if indeed we hold firmly to our confidence and the hope in which we glory” (Hebrews 3:5-6).

John 3:16 is the blueprint for salvation through Christ as it states “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” This message is in crisis today as with each generation God’s word has been chipped away from our government, schools, homes, and even infiltrated our churches. Jeremiah’s message still is relevant today because our society has again become deaf to God’s word and commands, but like Jeremiah believers must stand firm and speak truth even in the face of rejection and opposition. Jeremiah told people to question directions that were not in line with God’s commandments. Generations today and into the future seem to want to rely on the government to meet their needs, but even with their physical needs taken care of their spiritual needs are becoming desolate and barren. Just as in Jeremiah, there are consequences of the unfaithful which is separation from God. God’s anger will once again burn toward sin. Our reliance must be on God as “these are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open” (Revelation 3:7). God has provided us with his oracles as he laid out in Revelation of his indictments of our disobedience, the consequence of judgment, and aftermath of permanent separation from God. In his instructions, he reveals that people must first believe, accept Christ as their personal savior, and then go and win souls for Christ. Jesus is the fulfillment of the new covenant Jeremiah spoke of and behind the words Jesus spoke at the Last Supper. “Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them saying, ‘Drink from it all of you. This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. I tell you, I will not drink from this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom” (Matthew 26:27-28). Jeremiah had a huge influence on his generation “however, his words live on thousands of years later, offering teaching and hope even today. Jeremiah served God when it meant giving up everything and facing persecution in a culture that had abandoned God” (Roat). Jeremiah 31:31-34 is quoted in Hebrews chapter 8 which compares the new covenant with the old. The new covenant goes beyond Israel and Judah to include all nations, so its application is alive and vibrant as it is written on the hearts and minds of believers. All people can have confidence in their destination as they follow Christ with unwavering dedication no matter what they face. People need to hear from spokemen like Jeremiah who was known as the weeping prophet because of his anguish over a lost and dying nation. He still delivered God’s message with boldness, courage, and faithfulness. Like him, believers must pray for those who refuse to respond to the truth. Stand firm in God’s word so that all people come to an understanding of Jesus and that through him there is restoration and redemption for the whole world.





















Bibliography



JewishEncyclopedia.com.” JEREMIAH - JewishEncyclopedia.com,

www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8586-jeremiah.

Jeremiah.” Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Encyclop√¶dia Britannica, Inc.,

www.britannica.com/biography/Jeremiah-Hebrew-prophet.

Life Application Study Bible: NIV. Zondervan, 2019.

Roat, Alyssa. “Who Was Jeremiah - the ‘Weeping Prophet’?” Biblestudytools.com, Salem Web

Network, 2 Mar. 2020,

www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/who-was-jeremiah-the-weeping-pro

phet.html.

Walton, John H., and Andrew E. Hill. Old Testament Today: a Journey from Original Meaning

to Contemporary Significance. Zondervan, 2004.







Shingles Demand Letter

 Below is the letter I wrote and sent to the contacts listed below to fight for the option of the population under age 50 to obtain the shingles shot. If you want to also send the letter click on the links and also forward to anyone you think will also send demand letter. Let's make a movement :)

Done: Board of Pharmacy: contact, send communication for that state ex. Nevada https://bop.nv.gov/contact/Contact_Us/

Done-copy/pasted emails Immunization Coalitions Network, staff emails: https://www.immunizationcoalitions.org/

Done: Government: https://www.vaccines.gov/contact-us.html

Done: CDC: https://wwwn.cdc.gov/dcs/contactus/form

Done: copy/pasted email FDA: https://www.fda.gov/about-fda/center-drug-evaluation-and-research-cder/cder-contact-information

To Healthcare Representative:

There is a population under age 50 that has been undervalued by the CDC, FDA, State Board of Pharmacy, and Coalitions by not acknowledging the effects on the quality of life by an outbreak of shingles (Varicella Zoster Virus). As other virus, like Covid-19, is being quickly addressed and recommended to people as young as 12 years old. Making the Shingrix vaccination available to people under the age of 50 who have had Chicken Pox can also be prevented. Or if a person under age 50 has had shingles should be able to get the Shingrix vaccine to help build anti-bodies as this population should be considered as vulnerable and are listed under the CDC and FDA as “Special Populations” where shingles does attack the body multiple times with the onset of the first outbreak.

CDC states “any person born before 1980 can develop shingles.” This statement justifies a change in the rule that only people 50 and older can receive the shingles shot even with a doctor’s note. Pharmacies are denying the preventive care.

National Shingles Foundation reports that nearly one million individuals develop shingles in the U.S. each year”

National Shingles Foundation are unsure what triggers the reemergence of the varicella-zoster.” Those over 50 mentioned that they has weakened immune system, so more likely to develop shingles. This should apply to the population under 50 as the number of outbreaks of shingles is increasing.

Immunization Action Coalition on vaccineinformation.org stats reveals: “How effective is the Shingrix vaccine? In clinical trials Shingrix reduced the occurrence of shingles by 97% among people 50 years and older. “Do zoster vaccines prevent post-herpetic neuralgia? Both Zostavax and Shingrix were shown to reduce the risk of post-herpetic neuralgia (PHN). Zostavax reduced the overall occurrence of PHN by 66%, whereas Shingrix reduced the overall occurrence of PHN by 89%.

CDC, 2017, “The CDC analysis was conducted from a societal perspective over a lifetime. It estimated that vaccination with RZV, compared with no vaccination, cost $31,000 per quality adjusted life year (QALY), on average, for immunocompetent adults aged ≥50 years.”

CDC, 2017, “post-herpetic neuralgia, commonly defined as persistent pain for at least 90 days following the resolution of the herpes zoster rash, is the most common complication and occurs in 10%–13% of herpes zoster cases in persons aged >50 years (3,4).”

CDC, 2018, Special Populations

Persons with a history of herpes zoster. Herpes zoster can recur. Adults with a history of herpes zoster should receive RZV. If a patient is experiencing an episode of herpes zoster, vaccination should be delayed until the acute stage of the illness is over and symptoms abate. Studies of safety and immunogenicity of RZV in this population are ongoing.”

CDC, July 2020, “Zoster is caused by reactivation of latent zoster virus infection from a prior chickenpox infection. People who have had a prior infection with varicella zoster virus (chickenpox) are at risk of shingles.”

CDC, July 2020, “Special Situations: immunocompromising conditions-apply to those who had a shingles outbreak under age 50 and should be available *recommended use of RZV under review.”

FDA, 2017, On October 20, 2017, Zoster Vaccine Recombinant, Adjuvanted (Shingrix, GlaxoSmithKline, [GSK] Research Triangle Park, North Carolina), a 2-dose, subunit vaccine containing recombinant glycoprotein E in combination with a novel adjuvant (AS01B), was approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the prevention of herpes zoster in adults aged ≥50 years. The vaccine consists of 2 doses (0.5 mL each), administered intramuscularly, 2–6 months apart (1). On October 25, 2017, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommended the recombinant zoster vaccine (RZV) for use in immunocompetent adults aged ≥50 years.

1 out of 5 people will be affected by shingles virus which will result in Posttherpetic Neuralgia (PHN). PHN is chronic nerve pain caused by the shingles virus that damages the nerve pathways. The severe pain can continue for months, or even years. This long-lasting pain can be so bad that it interferes with eating and sleeping. Some people with severe pain from shingles have even committed suicide. Although some medicines can help treat shingles, there is not cures.

I implore that the CDC and FDA, as they already have acknowledged the importance of preventive care, so reality is that the under 50 population is at risk so should have access to the Shingles vaccine. The other under 50 population who have already experienced Shingles and PHN is at risk of another outbreak so should have access to the Shingles vaccine.

Signed by Sufferer:

Tanya Attebery


Take on School Boards even if you work for the district-Sorry but NO!

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