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FOREWORD Christians were originally called “Disciples” of Christ (more than a hundred times in the NT, whereas only a few times as “believers”), which means they were learners and practioners of the words and deeds of their Master, which in turn enabled them to teach and to pass on the authentic faith from one generation to another (2 Tim. 2:1-2). The Incarnate Lord Jesus says: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect” (Matt. 5:48). He says also: “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father” (John 14:9). Think of the word “pattern”; the Lord Jesus is saying here that the Father in heaven is to serve as the “pattern” or model of our character and behavior, for us to follow as disciples of Christ. He is to be the “mirror” for our constant reflection and imitation. The resurrected Lord told His disciples: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.” (Matt. 28:18-20) This message is commonly known as “The Great Commission”, the core demand of which is the making of Christian discipleship. The problem of the churches is having enough of hearers, but wanting in doers. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass: For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was. But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the word, this man shall be blessed in his deed. (James 1:23-25) Similarly, this book intends to serve as a glass or mirror in a lesser scale.

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The idea of comparing a book to a glass or a mirror may seem far-fetched. Some people may visualize it in terms of a spy-glass or telescope, which enables one to see far and wide, but actually it is not the main intention of this present Dictionary. The main intention of this book is rather to serve as a looking-glass or mirror, mainly for one to look inward for personal devotion and reflection, as mentioned in the James passage quoted above. While most dictionaries are distinguished by expansive collection of terms and phrases with wide and deep scholarly definition and deliberation, in contrast this present Dictionary contains words which seem common and easy to understand, but which do deserve a closer look and some deeper thought to realize their true significance, and to apply them in our practical life where appropriate, for isn’t it what true Christian discipleship is all about? True faith must be realized and manifested in Christian character and behavior, as befitting a true disciple of our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus never had any major conflict in terms of belief with His contemporary coreligionists, except His claiming Himself to be God or Son of God. The main difference was in the practice of their belief. The real issue was not whether Christ’s religious opponents were holding to right or wrong beliefs, but rather whether they had any genuine belief at all. The Lord had called such people “hypocrites”, because they, just like the actors in plays, did not seem to really believe in what they had preached, as proven in their faithless conducts. They never knew what it is to “walk the talk”. In the midst of noises of contention concerning orthodoxy, let us examine our orthopraxis: Is there any difference between the practice of our faith and whatever? Exegetically, we can see that the epistles of the Apostles, as well as the books of the Prophets, had often begun with some dogmatic teachings, and then followed up with applied theology, or ethics. “And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.” (1 John 2:17) What one “does” is what really counts after all. As the Bible says: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good ii


pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life. (Phil. 2:13-16) In the present age people are fascinated more than ever with performing “stars”, which are “Idols of Theatre”, as Francis Bacon put it. But Christians shall not allow any “star worship” to cloud over our sight of truth. The Bible tells us early disciples were called Christians precisely because they were seen following the teaching of Christ. (Acts 11:26). Therefore, in Christian discipleship pale and cold orthodoxy can never suffice; there must also be earnest orthopraxy to make it alive and complete, hence shedding light and not just making noise. May this little volume help “Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves.” (2 Cor. 13:5) Anyone that does not care to do so may just put the book aside. My ever grateful thanks to God for His inspired word & incarnate Word. I wish also to express my appreciation to my loving wife Elizabeth for her selfless support, suffer & sacrifice; to Ms. Jules Cai, who worked with the publishers to make the book possible. God’s blessings. JAMES C. M. YU

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INTRODUCTION It is my great blessing to be involved in the publication of this Dictionary of Discipleship originally composed by the Dr. James C. M. Yu. In fact, I had never ever dreamt of getting involved in such an endeavor, as I have been much occupied and burdened with my own literary projects. But when it turned out to be none other than Dr. James Yu that approached me for partnership in the publication of his composition on Dictionary of Discipleship, I realized that I could not decline the offer. The main reason why I could not decline the offer was that Dr. Yu used to be my great Mentor and Benefactor between April 1969 and November 1973, when I was studying as a young student at Singapore Bible College. During those years Dr. Yu, whom I deeply respect, had contributed most to the development of my literary career. There were lots of encouraging and cherishing episodes that I could write in these regards, but modesty on the part of my beloved Mentor forbids that I say more, and so I reluctantly submit. Thus I decided to accept the generous offer to share in the production of the present Dictionary with a grateful heart. However, I must say that my contribution in it is modest indeed, only by way of making some modification, addition, deletion, and enhancement in terms of thought and expression over Dr. Yu’s completed work. As regards Dr. Yu’s choice of Biblical references from the King James Version, which may seem remote to some, as well as his usage of some classical English, may I suggest that readers take them as an aesthetic excursion of the English language of a bygone era; but most importantly, to focus more on the content of A-Z subjects presented in the Dictionary instead, which would be most edifying. As the major concern of Dr. James C. M. Yu in the composition of the present Dictionary is Christian discipleship, as he has stated it in the Foreword, I could certainly identify with him in this respect, with the affirmation that he himself has really “walked the talk” as a Christian disciple and discipler, particularly in iv


relation to me as one of his early disciples, not just in literary production but also in role model. Thank You Dr. James C. M. Yu again for your great love and support in the past, and continued comradeship up to the present time, with God’s blessing of good health and fruitful ministry to your goodself and Mrs. Yu for many more years to come. AMEN. (Principal Emeritus: Malaysia Bible Seminary; Kuang, Selangor, Malaysia. Ph.D., Intercultural Studies, Fuller Theological Seminary. Email: revtanks@gmail.com)

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Contents FOREWORDi INTRODUCTIONiv

A Abba1 Abide1 Abomination2 Abortion2 Abraham3 Accountability3 Adam4 Agape, Caritas5 Alpha and Omega 5 Amen6 Anathema, also see Curse 6 Angel, Messenger, Message 7 Anger8 Anointed, Christ as the Anointed 8

Anti-Christ9 Antinomianism10 Apostates10 Apostles, The 11 Ark11 Armageddon12 Arminianism versus Calvinism 12 Armor of God, The whole 13 Asceticism14 Assurance14 Atheism15 Atonement15 Attendance, Building, Cash, abr. ABC. 16 Avarice16

B Baal17 Baptism17 Beatitudes18 Betray18 Bible19

Bible, King James Authorized Version (KJV)19 Bible, Believing 20 Bible and Revival 21 Bless21

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Body, of Christ Born Again

22 22

Bravery23

C Call25 Calling25 Calvary26 Cannibal26 Care, Pastoral 27 Catholic, Catholicity of the Church 27 Charity28 Charismatic28 Christ, see also Anointed, and Son of God 29 Christians29 Church30 Circumcision30 Comforter, The Other 31 Commandment32 Commencement33

Commission, The Great Commission 34 Compassion34 Confession35 Congregation36 Conscience36 Consecration37 Consolation38 Conspiracy38 Contentment39 Conversation39 Conversion40 Cross, Crux 41 Crusades41 Currency42 Curse, and Anathema 43

D Damn, Damnation 44 Darkness44 David45 Deacons46 Death46 Debt47 Decalogue48 Deceit, Deceive, Deception 49 Decision50

Dedication51 Deeds52 Deliverance52 Denial53 Despair53 Devil, Demons 54 Devotion54 Diligence55 Disciples, To make 56

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Disciples, Radical 57 Discord58 Disguise59 Disobedience59 Disputing60

Divorce61 Doctrine, Doctors 62 Dove63 Dreams64 Drunkenness64

E Ear66 Education66 Election67 Endurance68 Entertainment68 Enthusiasm69

Envy70 Epiphany70 Eschatology71 Ethics71 Evangelical72 Examples, Walk the Talk 73

F Faith, Sola Fide 74 Faithfulness74 Fall, into Sin 75 False Prophets 76 False Witness 76 Family, and Church 77 Famine, Physical and spiritual 78 Fasting79 Father, Different connotation of the title 80 Favor, Divine 81 Fear, of God 82 Feasts, Festivals 82 Fellowship83 Filthiness84 Fire, Judgment, and Zeal 85

Firstborn86 First Fruits 86 Fish87 Flatter88 Flesh88 Fool89 Forbearance89 Forgiveness90 Forsaking90 Four Horsemen 91 Fraud91 Freedom92 Friends92 Fruit93 Fugitives93

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G Games95 Garments95 Genealogy96 Gentleness96 Giants97 Gifts97 Gleaning98 Glory98 Gnosticism99

God100 Godliness101 God, Gold, Glory 102 Golden Rule, The 102 Goodness, of God 103 Gospel104 Grace104 Guardian105

H Hallow, Holy 107 Hand, of the Lord, and people 107 Happiness108 Harlot109 Harvests, and related Feasts 109 Hatred110 Haughtiness111 Head, Christ as the Head 111 Health112 Heart, as seat of 112 Heathens113 Heave-offering114 Heaven114 Hell115 Heresy116

Hermeneutics117 Hermits117 High Priest 117 Hireling118 Holy Spirit 118 Holy Temple 119 Homosexual120 Hope, Trilogy of Faith, Hope and Love121 Horse122 Hospitality122 House of God 123 Humble, Humility 123 Hunger, see also Famine 124 Hymns124 Hypocrites124

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I I AM 126 Idleness126 Idolatry127 Ignorance128 Images128 Immutability128 Indulgence129 Ingratitude129 Inheritance130

Iniquity131 Injustice131 Inquisition, of Medieval Church 132 Inspiration, of the Bible 132 Instruction133 Integrity133 Intercession134 Interpretation135

J Jesus Christ 136 Jordan River 137 Joy137 Judge, Judgment 138

Justice, Divine-Theodicy 139 Justice, Social 141 Justification142

K Key143 Kid143 Kindness144 King144 King of Kings 145

Kingdom of Heaven 145 Kiss, Holy 147 Kneeling148 Knowledge148 Koinonia149

L Labour, Labourer 150 Ladder, Between heaven and earth 151

Lake of Fire, The Hell Lamb, Its manifold images

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152 152


Lamentation153 Lamps154 Landmark154 Language155 Laughter155 Laver156 Law of God 156 Lawgiver157 Lawyer157 Learning158 Letter159 Leviathan159 Liar, Lying 160

Liberty160 Life, Eternal 161 Light161 Lily, and God’s care 162 Lion162 Long Suffering 163 Lord, The 163 Lord’s Day, The 163 Lord’s Prayer, The 164 Lord’s Supper, The 165 Love, The New Commandment 165 Love Feast 166 Lust, of the Flesh 167

M Mad, Madness 168 Magic, Magician 168 Magistrates169 Majesty, Christ’s 169 Man, Dignity and Fall 170 Manifestation, of the Father 171 Manna172 Manual Labour 172 Marry, Marriage 173 Martyr174 Master, The Lord 174 Measure, Just and fair 175 Meat175 Mediator176 Meekness176 Mercy177 Mercy Seat 177 Millennialism178 Mind179

Minister, Ministry 179 Miracles180 Mirth181 Mock181 Modest182 Money and Morality 182 Money Laundry 183 Moon, Month 184 Mortality184 Mother, of all living 185 Mounts186 Mourn, Mourner, Mourning 187 Mouth187 Murder, Capital punishment 189 Murmuring190 Music190 Muzzling191 Myrrh192 Mystery192 xii


N Name194 National Emblem 194 Natural Religion 195 Neighbour196 New Birth, Be Born-again 196 New Heaven and New Earth 197

New Jerusalem 198 New Man, New Humanity 199 Nicaea, Council of 200 Nicene Creed, The 200 Night202 Nobleness202

O Obedience204 Offence204 Offering205 Oil, of Olive 206 Ointment206 Old Age, Filial Piety 207 Oppression207 Oracle208

Ordination208 Ornaments, Ostentation 209 Orthodox209 Orthopraxis210 Outcasts, and Restoration 211 Overcoming211 Overseers, Church Elders 212 Ox212

P Pagan, see also Heathen 214 Palace214 Palm215 Paper, Reed 216 Parable216 Paradise217 Pardon217 Partiality218 Passover, and the Lord’s Supper 218 Pastors220 Patience221

Patriarch221 Pattern222 Peace222 Peace Offering 223 Pearl223 Peculiar224 Pentecost224 People, of God 225 Perdition225 Perfection226 Perfume226 xiii


Perjury227 Persecution227 Perseverance, Through hardship 228 Perseverance, In salvation 228 Person229 Pestilence230 Pietism231 Pilgrim, Pilgrimage 232 Pillars232 Pit233 Pleading234 Pleasure234 Pledge235 Plough235 Poet236 Poison236 Politics237 Polity238 Pollution238 Pomegranates239 Poor239 Potentate240 Power241 Pragmatism242 Praise, and Worship 242 Prayer243 Preach, Preacher 243

Predestination244 Presence, of God 245 Preserver245 Presumption246 Prevenient Grace 246 Price247 Pride247 Priest248 Prince, Principalities 249 Prodigal Son 249 Profane, Profanity 250 Profession, of faith 250 Promises250 Prophesy, True and False 251 Prophets, True and False 251 Propitiation252 Proselyte253 Prosperity253 Proverbs254 Providence254 Psalms, The 255 Publican, Tax collector 256 Publish, Publishers 256 Punishment257 Purchase258 Purge, Purity 258

Q Quails259 Quarreling259 Quickening260

Quietism260 Quietness261 Quo Vadis? “Where are you going?� 262

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R Raca263 Race263 Rahab264 Rain265 Rainbow265 Ram266 Raven266 Reading267 Reaping268 Reconciliation269 Redeem, Redemption 269 Red Dragon 271 Red Sea 271 Reed272 Refiner273 Reform, Reformation 273 Refuge, Refugee 274 Rejoice275 Rekindle275 Release276 Relief276 Religion277 Remission278

Repentance278 Reproof279 Resolve, Resolution 280 Rescue280 Rest281 Restitution281 Resurrection, of Christ 282 Revelation282 Revenge283 Reverend284 Revolt284 Reward285 Riches, Greed of 286 Righteousness, of God 287 Ring288 Rioting288 River, of Life 289 Robbery289 Robe290 Rock, God and Christ 291 Rod291 Roll292 Rulers293

S Sabbath295 Sacred295 Sacrifice296 Sacrilege297 Saint297

Salt298 Salvation299 Sanctification300 Sanctuary301 Savior302

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Scapegoat302 Scepter303 Schism304 Scoffers305 Scourging305 Scribes306 Scriptures307 Scroll, see also Roll 308 Self-denial309 Self-Examination309 Separation, from Sins 310 Separation, of Politics and Religion311 Sermon311 Serpent, The 312 Servant, Slave 313 Shadow314 Shalom314 Sheep315 Shekinah315 Shepherd316 Shield317 Shoes317 Shoulder318 Shouting319 Sick319 Sickle320 Sight, of God 321 Sign, Signs and Wonders 321 Silence322 Silver322 Simony323 Sin324

Slander324 Sleep325 Slothfulness325 Sobriety326 Soldier, of Jesus Christ 327 Son, Christians as sons and daughters (children) of God 327 Son of God, Jesus Christ 328 Songs330 Sorcery330 Sorrow331 Soul, Body, Spirit 331 Spikenard332 Spiritual333 Spoils, of wars 333 Stars334 Statutes335 Steadfastness335 Stealing336 Steward336 Stone337 Stranger338 Strength338 Strife339 Stubbornness339 Submission, to Authorities 340 Suffering340 Sun341 Surety342 Swear342 Swine343 Sword343 Synagogue344

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T Tabernacle346 Table346 Tables, Tablets of the Covenant 347 Talent347 Talking348 Tares349 Tax, Taxation 349 Teach, Teacher 350 Temperance350 Temple351 Temptation352 Testament352 Testimony353 Thanksgiving354 Theatre354 Thief355 Thorns356 Thunder357 Time357 Tithes358 Tongue, Speaking in 359 Tradition359

Traitor360 Trance360 Transfiguration361 Transformation362 Transgression362 Translation363 Treachery364 Treason364 Treasure364 Trespass, see also Transgression 365 Trial365 Tribes366 Tribulation366 Triumph367 Trumpet368 Trinity369 Trust369 Truth, The 370 Tutor371 Type371 Tyranny372

U Unbelief, Unbeliever 373 Unclean373 Unleavened374

Unmarried374 Unity375 Utilitarianism376

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V Vail, Veil 377 Value System 378 Vanity378 Vengeance379 VDM = Verbi Dei Minister380 Verity380 Vessel381 Vesture382 Victory382

Vine, Vineyard 383 Vinegar383 Virgin, Virgin Birth 384 Virtue384 Vision385 Voice, of God, and of people 386 Vows387 Voyage387 Vulgate388

W Wages389 Waiting389 Walk, and Talk 390 War390 Warning391 Waste391 Watch392 Water393 Weak394 Wedding395 Weeks, Feast of the 395 Weeping396 Weight397 Wells397 Wheat398 Wheels398 Whirl Winds 399 Whispering400 White Horse 400 White Raiment 401

White Throne, Book of Life 402 Whole403 Whore403 Wicked, Wickedness 404 Widow404 Wilderness405 Will, of God 406 Wine406 Wisdom407 Witchcraft408 Witnesses, of Christ’s Resurrection 408 Woes409 Wolves410 Woman410 Word, The Incarnate 412 Work, religious and good works 412 Wormwood414 Worship414 Wrath415 Writing416 xviii


X Xenophilia417

Xenophobia418

Y Yea419 Year419 Yielding420

Yoke420 Youth421

Z Zeal, Zealousness 423 Zealot423

Zion, Zionism

424

REFERENCES426

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xx


1

Abide

A Abba

Aramaic word for “My Father”. Jesus prayed in Gethsemane: “Abba, Father! All things are possible unto Thee; take away this cup from me; nevertheless, not what I will, but what Thou wilt.” (Mark 14:36) “Ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry: Abba, Father.” (Rom. 8:15) “Because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying: Abba, Father.” (Gal. 4:6) App: “Behold, what manner of love the Father bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God . . . We know that, when He shall appear, we shall see Him as He is.” (1 John 3:1-2) And so, let it be known that we shared the same heavenly Father, hold the same hope, and should be looking expectantly for Christ’s appearance.

Abide

“Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill?” (Ps. 15:1) Abide means to continue in a place, to dwell. “For Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness, neither evil dwell with Thee” (Ps. 5:4). Thus, the prophet said that “The sinners in Zion are afraid; fearfulness hath surprised the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?” (Isa. 33:14) “For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhibited eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones.” (Isa. 57:15)


Abomination

2

App: Thus Jesus said to the repentant Zachaeus: “Today I must abide at thy house.” (Luke 19:5) Christ chose to put up in his house not because his was a luxury palace, but because it was clean house of a converted sinner. Abomination

1. “The graven images of their gods shall ye burn with fire; thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on them, nor take it unto thee, lest thou be snared therein; for it is an abomination to the L ord thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomination into thine house, lest thou be a cursed thing like it, thou shalt utterly detest it, and thou shalt utterly abhor it; for it is a cursed thing.” (Deut. 7:25-26) 2. “For the froward [perverse] is abomination to the Lord; but His secret is with the righteous.” (Prov. 3:32) App: God’s people should be sanctified and separated from evil, both in terms of material idols, and also in terms of disobedience which is equal to idolatry (1 Sam. 15:23). Both of such should not be allowed.

Abortion

To “abort” means “to terminate”, “to disappear”, “to kill”; in this case termination of a “fetus” in a mother’s womb. The Law says: “If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her [gives birth prematurely], and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished . . . and if any mischief follow, then thou shall give life for life.” (Exod. 21:22-23) This shows the sacredness of life in the sight of God’s Law. App: In a culture of mass killing in wars, abortion seems not that horrifying, giving the excuse of “convenience” and “expediency”; asserting that it would not harm anyone,


3

Accountability

except the unwanted “tissue” inside the woman. Since killing is commonplace, “fetus” is no longer considered as life; likewise unwanted old folks are being classified in the same category. However, there is one form of “abortion” that can be commendable. The Bible says: “When lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it finished, bringeth forth death.” (James 1:15) As implied in the verse, it is “abortion”of conception of lust in the flesh of a person that is commendable, lest it results in death for the person concerned. Abraham

The Caravan of Abram

Accountability

From his homeland Ur of Chaldea, God had called Abram, and changed his name to Abraham. Abraham had answered God’s call, and wandered on his way to Canaan and Egypt. By the promise of God, he in his old age had obtained the son Isaac, through whom was born Jacob (Israel) and the twelve patriarchs. Abraham was called “Friend of God” (James 2:23). God had reckoned him as righteous in view of his faith in Him, and subsequently he has become “the father of us all”, who have been accepted as righteous (justified) through faith in Christ (Rom. 4:9-16). App: Abraham as our father of faith, had not only confessed that he was a stranger and pilgrim, but had also gone forward sojourning in the land of promise, and “he looked for a city which hath foundations whose builder and maker is God” (Heb. 11:8-13). May God guide all of us who are following in Abraham’s steps. Saints as “ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1 Cor. 4:1), or even as stewards of material goods that He has entrusted, must bear in mind at all times to make the best use of what is in one’s hands, and be ready to be accountable to Him. One must therefore


Adam

4

be “a faithful and wise servant . . . give meat in due season” (Matt. 24:45). “After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them.” (Matt. 25:19) In the meantime, one must be “Providing for honest things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Cor. 8:21) App: Ministers often fall because they forget that they are only “stewards”, and not “lords” or “bosses”. In most cases, failures have come about mainly due to a lack of accountability, especially in money matters. Adam

Adam and Eve

Adam means “soil” or “tillable red earth” in Hebrew. 1. The word can mean mankind, or human beings: “Since the day that God created man (Adam) upon the earth.” (Deut. 4:32) 2. The Fall of man, which brings death: “For out of it wast thou taken, for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.” (Gen. 3:19) “Death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.” (Rom. 5:14) 3. Adam as a type of Christ: “For as in Adam all die, even in Christ shall all be made alive . . . so it is written: The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit.” (1 Cor. 15:22, 45) App: “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (2 Cor. 5:17) The Church is constituted of new creatures, that is people who have been born-again in Christ, with renewed purpose and values of life, having ridden of old corruption.


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Agape, Caritas

Alpha and Omega

The Greek word used by Christ for “love” here is Agape (John 21:15-16), signifying deep love; the same is also used of divine love (John 14:21), that kind of love that the Law demand Luke 10:27). The Latin equivalent is Caritas, rendered in English as “charity”. In response Peter used the Greek word phileo, meaning “to have affection for”, which is seen as of lesser degree than agape (John 21:15). App: Whether it is agape or phileo, Jesus accepted Peter’s use of the word, and said to him, “Feed my lambs”, “Tend my sheep”, which means “My Church” (1 Pet. 5:1, 2). Thus Peter referred to Jesus as the “Chief Shepherd” (1 Pet. 5:4). Deliberation or argument over linguistics or semantics does not help much, the real value is in the practice of Christ’s command.

Alpha and Omega

Chist-Alpha and Omega By Adamantios (Own work) / Wikimedia Commons / GFDL / CC-BY-SA-3.0 / CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0

These are the first and the last letters of the Greek alphabets, employed by the Lord Jesus to self-reveal His eternal deity (Rev. 1:8; 21:6). The Lord also revealed His eternal deity in the annunciation of His second coming: “Behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” (Rev. 22:1213) App: Christians as runners of the race, who seek to receive the reward, must be “looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.” (Heb. 12:1-2) As Paul says to the Philippians: “Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6) As we have had our Alpha beginning with faith in Christ, let us as disciples of Christ press on to the Omega point.


Amen

6

Amen

Amen in Hebrew merely means “truly”, or “certainly”. As in confirmation to an oath, praise or prayer: “All the people shall say, Amen.” (Deut. 27:15-26; 1 Cor. 14:16) or, Praise in worship: “Let all the people say, Amen.” (Ps. 106:48). God is faithful and trustworthy: “For all the promises are Yea, and in Him, Amen.” (2 Cor. 1:20) App: Christians should always be sincere towards God and people, particularly in addressing prayer and praise to God. There are some who with their lips are making promises, but their feet busily drawing “No.”

Anathema, also see Curse

The Greek term Anathema meant accursed, or banned, in Hebrew Herem. A herem item was something devoted to total destruction. Paul said, “If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maranatha.” (1 Cor. 16:22) Paul applied the same on heretics in: “But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.” (Gal. 1:8-9) However, he had also applied it to himself saying: “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Rom. 9:3) App: 1 Corinthians 16:22 could have been the most severe of Paul’s chastisement, directed to so-called Christians that do not love the Lord. It is understandable to pronounce anathema on heretics who preach a false Christ or a false Gospel (Gal. 1:8-9), but wouldn’t it be too much to do so on nominal believers who do not love the Lord? However, when we read how Paul had conneted these words to the imminent second coming of Christ, “Maranatha” which


7

Angel, Messenger, Message

means “Our Lord, Come” in Aramaic; and when we relate it to the Laodiceans who were neither hot nor cold, whom the Lord had threatened to spew out of His mouth, we may have a sense of empathy with Paul’s feeling in this respect. Moreover, Paul had denounced himself if he were to be unconcerned for the salvation of his kinsmen (Rom. 9:3). In light of these may we be reminded to intensify our love for the Lord, and for His glorious return (2 Tim. 4:68). Angel, Messenger, Message

1. An angel, “angelos” in Greek, means a messenger, while “euaggelion” in Greek and “evangelium” in Latin means good tidings, good news or the “Gospel”. One who brings good news of the Gospel is an “evangelist”, like a good angel. Christ Jesus is the “Apostle par-excellence” sent by God (Heb. 3:1), bearing in Himself the Gospel of the Kingdom of God. 2. The resurrected Christ, while greeting His disciples had said: “As my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” (John 20:21) 3. “They [Angels] are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation” (Heb. 1:14) God sent an angel to deliver the apostles from prison in Acts 5:17-25 and in 12:4-18 respectively. App: 1. T he Man of God (Elisha) had angels encamped around him (2 Kings 6:15-7 ref. Ps. 34:7). As “heirs of salvation”, we shall believe that God has arranged for ministering angels to serve us in case of need, though we see them not. 2. Christ Jesus has authority over the hosts of angels (Matt. 26:53). 3. Christians should beware of the temptation of fallen angels (Jude 6; 2 Pet. 2:4), especially those that seek to pervert the Gospel (Gal. 1:8-9).


Anger

8

Anger

The God of love and of righteousness is God who is longsuffering and not easily provoked to anger (Ps. 103:8-9). However, God may show His divine anger even toward His servants: “The Lord’s anger burned against Moses” (Exod. 4:14); and also toward His people: “His [The Lord’s] anger was aroused” (Num. 11:1). However, God’s anger is righteous anger, and is transient in contrast to His everlasting love. On the other hand, Humans are easily provoked to anger. As children of light, we are exhorted to “Be ye angry, and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: Neither give place to the devil.” (Eph. 4:26-27) App: Regrettably, Christians are often ignorant and negligent with regard to God’s anger, hence falling into unnecessary suffering under divine chastisement. On the other hand, they may easily give way to outbursts of anger on others, especially people of low standing. This is mainly due to one’s pride and lack of self-control, which can be overcome only by the transforming power of the Holy Spirit.

Anointed, Christ as the Anointed

In the Old Testament special ointment was made for the anointing of Priest (Exod. 30:30), Prophet (1 Kings 19:1516), and Prince (1 Sam. 2:10; 10:1; 16:1, 13). The anointment signified divine blessing and election. The Hebrew term for the Messiah is HaMashshiah, which means the “Anointed One”, rendered into Greek as “Christos”, i.e. “Christ” in English. Jesus as the “Christ”, the “Anointed One” chosen and sent by God for the salvation of the whole human race had been much prophesied in the Old Testament, and realized Christ’s incarnation and ministry (Ps. 2:2 cf. Zech. 6:12-13; Isa. 62:1-2; Matt. 16:16; Luke 4:18-21; Acts 4:26). Christ was anointed by the Holy Spirit to serve as the supreme Prophet, Priest, and King in the salvific scheme


9

Anti-Christ

of God. His powerfully anointed ministry provoked the jealousy of the Jewish leaders who then rejected and crucified Him. But God raised Him from the dead, proving that He was indeed the divine Christ, the Messiah. After Christ’s ascension to Heaven, and on the day of Pentecost, He sent the promised blessing of the Holy Spirit to anoint His disciples for continuing ministry of the Gospel. App: John Milton in his Paradise Lost attributed jealousy as the root evil which caused Satan’s fall and the prime sin of Cain who killed his brother. Christian disciples must always be humble and give Christ the preeminent place in life and ministry. The Church as a whole is given the task to proclaim Christ Jesus as the Lord and Savior to the ends of the world. Anti-Christ

“Anti” in Greek means “to oppose”, “to be against”. The final Antichrist of the end time is spoken of as the “Beast”, also known as the “Lawless One”, “Man of sin, the Son of perdition” (Rev. 11-18; 2 Thess. 2:3-10). Apostle John had warned: “It is the last time [last hour] . . . even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.” (1 John 2:18) He said that those false teachers who opposed the anointed Christ and His teachings had risen, that “they might be made manifest that they were not all of us. . . . He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.” (1 John 2:19-22) App: Paul says the appearance of the Anti-Christ will be accompanied with “all power and signs and lying wonders”: “And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming: Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders.” (2 Thess. 2:8-9) And so Christians should beware not to be deceived by “signs”


Antinomianism

10

and “wonders”, but to always hold firm to the Lordship of Christ, who upon His return will destroy the Lawless One. Antinomianism

“Antinomianism” is composed of Greek word “anti” meaning “against”, and “nomos” meaning” law”. There were those who declared that since Christians are in Christ and have obtained God’s mercy and grace, there is no more need to learn of God’s law as to how to live. They claimed the commands of the Decalogue and other ethical parts of the Scriptures had become totally irrelevant, as all that one needs now is to follow the “spirit’s guide”. Thus they used “liberty for an occasion to the flesh.” (Gal. 5:13) App: The Antinomians erred in the lack of realization that while it is true no law can save a person, one who is saved is supposed to abide by laws and regulations, unless they contradict principles of our faith. Keeping of law adds nothing to salvation in Christ, but means a lot in Christian walks of life. Antinomians are exhorted to bear “the fruit of the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23), which is the character of the “royal regalia” of an heir of the Kingdom of God.

Apostates

“Certain men, the children of Belial . . .” (Deut. 13:13) These “certain men” were not from the outside, but were rebellious members from among God’s assembly. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils.” (1 Tim. 4:1). Apostasy is also called “a falling away.” (2 Thess. 2:3) App: Un-regenerated human nature is always tended to rebel against God (Jude 11). Some would not hesitate to betray the Lord for their own gains. Thus Judas betrayed the Lord for thirty pieces of silver coins.


11

Apostles, The

Ark

Apostleship is the gift of Christ for edification of His Church. “Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.” (2 Cor. 12:12) Apostles are called and sent by Christ (Matt. 10:1-4). Paul also (Acts 9:15-16), had true “signs of an apostle” (2 Cor. 12:12). There have always been false apostles, deceitful workers, counterfeiting themselves as apostles of Christ. And so do not marvel: for “Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.” (2 Cor. 11:1314) App: Apostleship is the cardinal gift of Christ to His Church (Eph. 4:11-12), and the apostles were prime builders and movers of the early Church (Eph. 2:20); therefore, not a few in all ages have tried to exalt themselves and claimed to be “apostles”. We can see that they are not of the Lord because of their false doctrines, arrogant spirit, and selfgratifying life-style.

Ark

Noah’s Ark

The Ark Passes Over the Jordan

Ark means a chest, as Ark of the Covenant in the Temple. The Ark of Noah was the vessel God had ordered Noah to build to save humans in the judgment of the great deluge. Although Noah had faithfully proclaimed God’s impending wrath, finally only his own household of eight were saved (Heb. 11:7). The Ark of the Covenant (Exod. 25:10) used to be the most holy object in the tabernacle. Both forms of Ark were respectively a proto-type of Christ Jesus. App: Noah seemed to be the first and miserably failed preacher; however, he was also the first and the most successful Patriarch of the “House Church”, with his whole family one hundred percent ser ving God! As for today’s preachers, not a few are unable to effectively share the Gospel even under their own roof. Such should dutifully consider Noah’s example in this regard.


Armageddon

Armageddon

12

Also called Harmagedon (NRSV); scholars generally explain the noun as Greek transliteration of the Hebrew phrase har meggdo “The Mountain of Megiddo”. It appeared only once in New Testament as the venue where the kings of the earth would one day assemble to fight against God (Rev. 16:16). Hence it has become a familiar designation of the final battle of the forces of the good and evil, which will result in the triumph of the good, and destruction of the evil. App: If one were to interpret the Bible passage literally, one has to face the question: Armagedon as the supposed venue for the last world battle by any standard is so small, that if put in altogether, the multitudes of the armies and their enormous supporting forces would hardly have enough space to fight and maneuver. Whatever the hermeneutical solution may be, we trust that the conflict of the ages will come to a close on That Fateful Day, and the ultimate triumph of good over evil is ensured.

Arminianism versus Calvinism

Arminianism was formulated by Jacobus Arminius (15591609), a Dutch theologian of University of Leiden, as the main Anti-Calvinist Reformed theology. Fundamental theological differences between the two is pivoted upon different understandings of the human Free-will. Calvinism’s basic belief is in divine Predestination of salvation; while Arminianism’s belief is in exercise of human will to choose as to believe and be saved or not, thus determining their own eternal destiny. Calvinism’s system of belief may be summed up in the acronym “Tulip”: Total Depravity; Unconditional Election; Limited Atonement; Irresistible Grace; Perseverance of Saints, whereas Arminianism’s system consists of: FreeWill; Conditional Election; General Atonement; Resistible Grace; Possible Falling from Grace. Both schools of thought subscribe to all the fundamental beliefs of Christian faith.


13

Armor of God, The whole

App: The Bible says, those who “were ordained to eternal life believed” (Acts 13:48). The apostle Paul knew that God “having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will” (Eph. 1:5), yet he was fully committed to “labour and travail, for labouring night and day . . . preached . . . the gospel” (1 Thess. 2:9). We should follow the example of Paul in thanking God for His predestination, and yet at the same time fully committed to striving faithfully for the Gospel as though he never knew anything about the belief. Armor of God, The whole

“Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.” (Eph. 6:14-18) App: Apparently the armory as described here is less than “whole”, because the back of the warrior is left undefended. This is the reason why that “standing” is so important, with no turning in retreat. It also implies reliance only on God’s backing. Alexander the Great of Macedonian died in the prime of his youth, and it was discovered that he had suffered over thirty wounds, all of which were in his front and none in his back, while other commanders had wounds on their backs. This makes all the difference between Alexander the Great and the others. To him there was only moving on ahead, without backing.


Asceticism

14

Asceticism

Many religions hold a dualistic view of life. They practice asceticism, believing that making the body suffer is good for the soul, in suppression of lusts to make it more holy. Some sects hold on to “neglecting of the body, not in any honour to the satisfying of the flesh” (Col. 2:23). Some Christians also entertain similar view. But more often than not ascetic practices would only result in having the person concerned being “vainly puffed up” (Col. 2:18) instead. Actually the right approach for holy living, as the Bible teaches, is the fruit of union with Christ, with mortification of lusts of the flesh through the empowering and leading Holy Spirit. App: In a hedonistic world, stoic rule of living is attractive and often gives the appearance of superior moral standing. But reality is not always as it appears to be. However, on the other hand, the trend of materialistic and luxurious wasteful living often leads to the laxity of morality, and eats into the church treasury as well as its spiritual dynamism. Once while John Chrysostom (c. 347-407) visited the Vatican, the Pope boasted to him that then they had no more need to say “Silver and gold have I none.” John retorted to the effect that “You also can no longer say ‘In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk’.” (Acts 3:6) Of course the malaise affects not just the Roman Catholics, but Christians of all denominations, including evangelicals who are being laid at the “Beautiful Gate” lame and begging.

Assurance

Christians not only have assurance from punishment of sin and from hell, but also have faith and hope. “For I know Whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” (2 Tim. 1:12) Such a conviction is based on the truth that “He abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.” (2 Tim. 2:13)


15

Atonement

App: Many Christians are feeling complacent with “the elementary teachings about Christ” (Heb. 6:1 NIV), without assurance of hope “as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which entereth into that within the veil.” (Heb. 6:19) Such believers would easily fall away or sink in the trials of tempests of life. Atheism

Atheism is the claim that “there is no God” (Ps. 14:1). But such a proposition in fact errs in universal negative, which cannot be proved. On the other hand, one who honestly confesses that he or she does not really know if there is a God, who is being agnostic, has more chance and hope for salvation than the so-called atheist. App: One who does not know of his own ignorance is a fool (Ps. 14:1). It is only when one sees one’s real “filthiness”, then only as the lost son, one may arise and walk on the way of returning to his father’s home (Luke 15:11-20). However, let no one turns out to be a “theoretical theist” but a “practical atheist”, because one professes belief in God, but live as if there is no God.

Atonement

The Fall of humankind into sin resulted in the tragedy of separation from and enmity with God. The atonement accomplished by Christ on the cross (Rom. 3:24) is the only way which leads to reconciliation and peace with God (Col. 1:20 cf. Isa. 59:20). The concept of “atonement” can be seen as “at-one-ment”, that is the alienated parties become “atone” again through Christ. App: The church commemorates the Lord’s supper (1 Cor. 11:23-26), with faith accepting divine grace through Christ’s death, with love towards one another in the


Attendance, Building, Cash, abr. ABC.

16

sharing of one bread, and with hope for the second advent of Christ to take His bride. Attendance, Building, Cash, abr. ABC.

These are commercial concepts currently adopted and adapted by many a church. These ABC principles could well be applied to restaurants, theaters, entertainments and almost any worldly enterprise, but not the Church! The Church may proclaim “In lying words saying: The temple of the L ord, the temple of the L ord, the temple of the Lord.” (Jer. 7:4), but in actual spirit may have gone astray from the “old paths” (Jer. 6:16). App: Jesus did not advise His disciples to add “The beauty queen of Sychar” and her half-a-dozen husbands and lovers (cf. John 4:1-30), but to offer people “Living Water” instead. “They that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth.” (John 4:24)

Avarice

The word means greediness for money, as well as avidity or strong desire for fame. Greed is the sign of want of contentment. “For the love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Tim. 6:6-10) As Christians one ought to “set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.” (Col. 3:2) But avarice, both for money and fame, up-roots your mind from above and plant it on the earth. App: Unlike rice which can fill physical body’s desire, or, appetite, avarice after every intake, only makes one hunger for more, as always. If a Christian family were talking often of money, that is a sure way to educate their young to have Lot as their model and to aim at “filthy fat”, rather than to be the descendant of the poor, but pure, Abraham (Gen. 14:22–15:1).


17

Baptism

B Baal

“Baal” is a Semitic word which means “The Master”, “The Lord”, hence also “Husband”. As the major god of the Canaanites, he was supposed to be the god of the storm and of soil, of fertility. Israelites always attempted to serve him, sometimes associated with Ashtaroth, which Jeremiah refers to as “Queen of heaven” (Jer. 44:18-19). App: Because of their wish to have prosperity and their desire to syncretize with Canaanite natives, the Israelites were easily d raw n to Baalism, and forgot God’s commandments which required them to be separated from Pagan worship. Obviously, that is often the problem of the Church in relation to the world.

Baptism

Baptism is a religious ritual signifying conversion, purif ication and commitment to a Master. In terms of religious rites, it was not a monopoly of Christian discipleship. John the Baptist also gave baptism which signified repentance from sins (Matt. 3:1-11). However, John was only the herald of Christ, and he witnessed that “but He [Jesus] that cometh after me [John] is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: He shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” (Matt 3:11-12) App: During the apostolic time there were disciples of John who were supposed to have repented but did not know of the baptism of Christ (Acts 9:1-7). On the contrary in modern time, there might be a much greater number of so called baptized “Christians” who do not know what it


Beatitudes

18

means to “repent”, for repentance is often missed out in modern pulpits. Beatitudes

The Sermon of the Beatitudes

Betray

Blessed means more than an emotional state of happiness. It includes spiritual well-being, having the approval of God, and thus a happier destiny, “for great is your reward in heaven”. (Matt. 5:3-12 cf. Luke 6:20-23) Therefore it has nothing to do with motives of selfish or worldly gains. App: The Beatitudes consist of far more lasting and profound blessing than they appear to be on the surface. They impart the Kingdom world view and Kingdom moral value to Christian disciples. True happiness is not carpe diem, or, “seizing the day” for worldly and sensational fulfillment as promised in the “Prosperity Gospel”. An action of disloyalty to disown, desert, or to denounce allegiance due someone, especially one’s former Master. The most notorious was the Lord’s onetime “Chancellor of the Exchequer” Judas’s treacherous betrayal of the Lord Christ (Matt. 26:14-16). App: Betrayal usually starts in some small ways, and then grow to become lethal: “He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” (Luke 16:10) Judas had started by stealing from the common purse entrusted to him, and ended up by betraying the Lord Himself. Today, the descendants of Judas’ molls are still in plenteous. There may never be a perfect leak-proof way to prevent such act, but one’s personal experience of conversion and knowledge of the Lord is quintessential.


19 Bible, King James Authorized Version (KJV)

Bible

In Greek biblia means “books”, and biblos “a book”. The term “Bible” is derived from Greek biblia, because it consists of sixty-six books. Most ancient books in the Middle-East were made from papyrus, which was a kind of water plants used by Egyptians to produce paper and book. A papyrus book was known as a codex. In ancient time, people who knew how to read and interpret the Bible professionally were called “scribes”, among whom one of the ablest was Ezra (Ezra 7:6). The Bible is inspired Word of God given to all people for salvation as well as for edification for all good works. Paul said to young Timothy: “And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Tim. 3:15-17) App: It is God’s will and Christ’s desire that one should be a doer, and not just a hearer or reader of God’s Word. For instance, for someone who has heard or read of the story of the Good Samaritan, if such a one should come across a similar scene, whereby he sees another person wounded and left dying by the road, and yet just pass by doing nothing to help, but stick to reading his religious book; damned be such a person to hell, for at the end of the story the Lord had said: “Go, and do thou likewise.” (Luke 10:30-37)

Bible, King James Authorized Version (KJV)

The King James Version, also called the Authorised Version is one of the best translated versions of the Bible in the English language. At Hampton Court Conference (1604), King James stated that “We may never have a perfect English Bible, but We know that the worst English


Dictionary of Discipleship-Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis  

The Ultimate Source Book for Bible Words: Definition with application for living God’s word + Invaluable guide for disciples of Christ to l...

Dictionary of Discipleship-Orthodoxy and Orthopraxis  

The Ultimate Source Book for Bible Words: Definition with application for living God’s word + Invaluable guide for disciples of Christ to l...

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