2-3-5-Angels


2-3-5-Angels-Peter

Goals:

At the end of this lesson you will be able to do the following:

  1. Explain from the Bible the origen of angels.  Tell what kind of beings they are, and list at least two Bible names of the most important Bad angel.

  2. Identify two episodes in the semester of withdrawal where Jesus healed demon-possessed persons along with their Bible references and take part in a discussion about the activities of both good and bad angels.

  3. Tell from the Bible why believers do not need to fear the activities of Bad angels.

  4. Complete a Bible Study of Matthew 16:13-23 and explain the importance of Peter’s confession about the person of Jesus Christ.

  5. Take part in a discussion about the meaning of the words “bind” and “loose” in Matthew 16:19, identify three possible interpretations of verse 18, and defend the interpretation you feel is most correct in a discussion.

  6. Discuss the teaching of the Roman Catholic Church about the Pope and explain why these claims of papal authority cannot be supported by the verses in Matthew 16.

Angels and Demons

Second Journey: In Phoenicia

Read Matthew 15:21-28.

  1. Who was tormenting the Canaanite woman’s daughter?

  2. Who healed her?

  3. Who had faith that Jesus could overcome the demon?

The subject of demons and demon-possession is much discussed today.  From where do they come?  What do they do?  In today’s lesson we are not only going to study about demons, but also about angels as well.  Read Matthew 16:27.  Who will be with the Son of Man at His Second Coming?

Let’s begin our study by looking at the origin of angels.  Where do they come from?  Read the quotation below.  It is Colossians 1:15 as it has been translated in the New American Standard Bible.  “For in Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities – all things have been created through Him and for Him.”  Where have angels come from?

Keeping in mind that angels are create beings:

  1. There was a time when they did not exist.

  2. They have less power than God.

  3. They are under God’s control.

Read Hebrews 1:13-14.  Although verse 14 is in the form of a question, it clearly teaches that angels are ministering

Angels are spiritual beings.

  1. Angels do not have a physical body.

  2. If it is necessary for angels to be seen, they take on the form of a body so that they are visible to mankind.

In a previous lesson we saw that God looked down upon everything that He had created and said that it was very .  From this statement we concluded that man, as a part of God’s creation, was at the beginning also .  In the same way, we conclude that all of the angels were also after they were created.

Now let’s see what good angels do.  Read Revelation 5;11-12.  What were the angels John saw in his vision doing?

Look for Psalm 103 and keep your Bible open to this psalm.

  1. Verse 20 of this psalm encourages the angels to the Lord, or in other words, to worship Him.

  2. Angels do more than Worship, they also Serve the Lord in many practical ways.  For example, look at verse 20 again.  That verse says that they also His word.

  3. According to Psalm 103:21, the angels God’s will.

The list below includes several examples of the ways in which angels serve Christ.  In each case, complete the sentence which states the kind of service mentioned in the Bible verse.

  1. Luke 1:30-32.  An angel to Mary the Birth of Christ.

  2. Luke 22:43.  An angel appeared to Jesus in Gethsemane and Him.

  3. Matthew 28:5-6.  An angel Christ’s Resurrection to the women.

  4. Matthew 24:31.  At the moment of the Second Coming of Christ, He will His angels and they will His elect (those who are saved).

Turn again to Hebrews chapter 1.  The angels also serve those who belong to the Lord.  Verse 14 states: “Are not all angels spirits, sent to those who will inherit salvation.”

The list below gives several references in the Bible where good angels served those who belong to the Lord.  In each case, look up the reference and then write down what the angels did.

  1. I Kings 19:5-7.  The prophet Elijah was completely worn out and the angel him two meals to help Elijah gain back his strength.

  2. Daniel 6:22.  After Daniel was thrown into the lion’s den an angel the lion’s mouth to protect him.

  3. Acts 5:19-20.  When the apostles were put in prison an angel set them .

  4. Acts 27:23-24.  An angel assured Paul that he would have the opportunity to testify before .

Now that we know something about the good angels, we are ready to consider another kind of spiritual being which is not good.  Of course, we are talking about Demons.  In what foreign country did Jesus have an encounter with a person who was demon-possessed?

We know the good angels were created by God.  But, where then have these demons who sometimes torment men come from?  The truth of the matter is that not all of the angels God created continued to be good.  Read II Peter 2:4.  According to this verse, what did some of the angels God created do?

Good angels:

  1. Seraphs (Isaiah 6:2-3).

  2. Cherubim (Genesis 3:24).

  3. Archangel (I Thessalonians 4:16).

Bad angels:

  1. Unclean spirits.

  2. Evil Spirits.

  3. Demons.

  4. Beelzebub (Matthew 12:24).

  5. The powers of this dark world (Ephesians 6:12).

  6. The spiritual forces of evil.

Although some have tried to establish degrees of importance among the angels, we do not really know enough about them to do that.

While we may not know degrees of importance among the good angels, we do know that the most important of the Bad angels is known by several names in the Bible.

  1. Revelation 12:9.  Serpent, Satan, Devil.

  2. Revelation 12:10.  Accuser of the brethren.

  3. Genesis 3:1.  Serpent.

  4. II Corinthians 4:4.  God of this age.

  5. I Peter 5:8.  Devil, Like a Roaring Lion.

  6. John 8:44.  Father of Lies, Devil.

  7. John 14:30.  Prince of this world.

The bad angels are also very active!  While the good angels are serving the Lord and His children, the bad angels are busy opposing them.  Find Matthew 4.

  • According to verse 1, hat was the devil going to do to Christ?

  • That is why, in Matthew 4:3, he is called the

Who tempted Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden?  The , that is, the .  (If you do not know the answer, Read Genesis 3).

So we see that a special activity of the devil is to human beings, even the Lord Jesus Christ!

  1. Read James 4:7.  What are we to do when we are tempted by the devil?

  2. Now read I Peter 5:9.  What does this verse say we are to do when we are tempted?  We are to him (that is, the devil), standing firm in the faith.

We studied about Jesus’ temptations as a man in an earlier lesson.  Jesus resisted the temptations of Satan in the same way we are to resist him.  He used the same two spiritual weapons that we can use.  What are the two spiritual weapons which may be used to resist the devil? and

  1. The rest of the evil angels also oppose and trouble mankind.  Read Matthew 12:22.  What caused this man to be blind and dumb?  The man was .

  2. Many other similar cases are described in the gospels.  What then, is one special activity of evil spirits?  They certain people.

We must be careful in our discussion of demons and demon-possession that we do not allow ourselves to pay too much attention to them.  Not all those who do evil are demon-possessed.  Why do non-demon-possessed persons continue to do evil?

At the same time, we must recognize that it is possible for demons to possess human beings.  When we say that someone is demon-possessed, we mean that an evil spirit dominates a certain part of that person’s life.

Keeping this in mind then, we must conclude that a person can be sick without being demon-possessed.

There are two examples of people who were demon-possessed and whom Jesus healed during the Semester of Withdrawal.

  1. On the second journey, a daughter was healed when her mother asked Jesus to help, in the region of and in the country of Phoenicia.  This episode can be found in Matthew 15:21 to 28.

  2. On the third journey, a son was healed at the request of his father at the foot of Mt. in the province of , told in Matthew 17:14-21.

Note that in both of these cases the outward manifestation of demon-possession was alarming.  According to the description of the parents in each case:

  1. The girl was terribly from demon-possession.  (See Matthew 15:22).

  2. The son had .  he often fell into the or into the .  (See matt. 17:15).

  3. Sometimes a sickness may be caused by demons.

According to Matthew 8:16, what did Jesus do when they brought those who were demon-possessed to Him?

Read Matthew 10:1.  Here Matthew tells us that Jesus gave His disciples authority over so that they too could .

  1. Who has authority over demons?

  2. Read Mark 9:29.  What is necessary for a disciple of Jesus to drive out this kind of unclean spirit?

In this care, who can cast out demons today?  Only those disciples of Jesus who are careful to keep themselves in good spiritual condition, by having a deep faith and a strong prayer life.

If you are like many others, discussions like this one about evil spirits makes you a little bit afraid.  However, you must not be afraid.

We have already seen that All spirits, the bad as well as the good, were originally created perfect by God.  Since they were created by God, they have:

The Bible teaches us that God has placed certain limits upon the activities of the angels.  Find the book of Job in your Bible.  Job was a good man and for this reason was his enemy and wanted to harm him.  God gave Satan permission to try Job.  But, notice how God limited Satan’s activities.  In Job 1:12, God gave Satan permission to touch all that Job , but He did not give him permission to lay hands on himself.  For this reason, Satan could not harm Job.

In Job 2:6 God gave Satan permission to touch Job, but he still must Job’s .

And so it is throughout the rest of the book of Job.  Regardless of how much Satan harms Job, he does not have the power to take Job’s life.  God placed a upon Satan’s power.

Now we can begin to see why Christians must not be afraid of these attacks by bad angels.  Although God does permit Satan and his angels to trouble us, their power is always by God.

There is another reason why Christians should not fear the attacks of wicked angels.  Read Colossians 2:15 below: “And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”  

So, remember – Jesus has more power than all of the wicked angels.  Believers need not fear their activity since God’s spirit is greater than they.  Jesus triumphed over them on the cross!

Peter, the Rock, and the Papacy

We are going to go ahead with our study of the third journey toward Caesarea Philippi.

The Third Journey: In Caesarea Philippi

Read Matthew 16:13-23.

  1. Who recognized Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God?

  2. Where did this confession take place?

Read verses 13 and 16 once again.  Jesus is given three titles in these two verses:

  1. Son of God.  Jesus’ divine nature.

  2. Son of Man.  Jesus’ human nature.

  3. Christ.  Jesus as the Anointed One of God.

Peter’s response in verse 16 shows that he understood about the of Jesus.

According to verse 14, what were others thinking about Jesus’ person?  Others thought that He was or , or , or one of the .

But, notice that Peter, in spite of what others thought, understood very well about the person of Jesus.  According to Jesus’ own words in verse 17, who had revealed this truth to Peter?

After this discussion of the person of Jesus Christ, Jesus begins to talk to His disciples about His death.  This is in verse 21.  We will look more closely at this in our next lesson.  How did Peter react when he heard that Jesus was going to Jerusalem to be killed?

Peter’s opposition to the idea of Jesus’ death in Jerusalem showed that he: did not understand plans.

According to verse 23, who put this mistaken idea in Peter’s mind?

Isn’t it strange that Peter could understand the person of Jesus so well and at the same time be so wrong about His death?  Isn’t it strange that one who received a revelation from God could have been so open to the influence of the devil?  But then, we are all that way, are we not?  Let us ask God to protect us from our weakness and our readiness to think that when we are right in one thing we will automatically be right in everything else as well!

This passage in Matthew 16 also contains several verses which talk about Peter’s place in the church, and in the Kingdom of Heaven.  Read Matthew 16:19.  What did Jesus say He was going to give to Peter?

What is a key used for?

Using what you have already learned about symbols, you can see that the keys mentioned in verse 19 are a symbol showing that Peter would the door to the Kingdom of Heaven so that many could enter in.

Peter actually did do this on two occasions.  On the day of Pentecost, when the Gospel was preached for the First time publicly in a complete form, who was preaching?  Read Acts 2:14.

So then, we may say that peter was the first to preach the Gospel in its complete form, publicly to the and opened the door to the Kingdom of Heaven on the day of Pentecost, so that many Jews could enter.

But, Peter also had this same privilege in regard to another group of people.  Read Acts 15:7.  Here Peter declares that God had decided that through him the Gospel might be heard by the .

The story of Peter’s preaching to the Gentiles is told in Acts 10.  According to Acts 10:24-25, in whose house did Peter preach the Gospel for the first time to a group of Gentiles?

What is the meaning of the verse which says that Jesus would give the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven to Peter?  That Peter was to be the to the publicly to both the Jews and to the Gentiles.

Exercise: Use your Red Pencil and underline the word “Kingdom” in Matthew 16:19.

Turn to Matthew 16 once again.  Let’s continue our study of verse 19.  Jesus told Peter that whatever he bound on earth will be in heaven, and what Peter on earth would be in heaven.

Most Bible scholars understand the words “bind” and “loose” to be talking about the forgiveness of sins.  If this is the case, then:

  1. when someone’s sins are “loosed”, it means that they are .

  2. and, if someone’s sins are “bound”, it means that they are NOT .

Jesus uses these same words again in Matthew 18, in a portion that will help us to see more of their meaning.  Read Matthew 18:17-18.

Jesus uses these words in Matthew 18 in a section which talks about Discipline in a local church.  We can imagine such a case.  A Christian has fallen into serious sin and even though he has been approached about it, he continues to keep his wrong attitude.  According to Matthew 18:17-18, the church must therefore Discipline or rebuke him.

  1. If he repents of his sin, they are loosed, in other words, they are .  This has been done as much in heaven by God as it has been by the church since it is God who forgives sin.

  2. On the other hand, if he does not repent, his sins are bound (as much by God as by the church), that is, they are NOT .  The person is to remain outside of the church’s fellowship since he is under .

Since the words “bind” and “loose” are used in Matthew 18 to talk about discipline in the church, it is also likely that the same words, “bind” and “loose” in Matthew 16 also talk about in a church.

later on in our studies we will look again at the need for discipline in the church.  But, for the moment, it is enough to see that when Christ told Peter and the other leaders of the church that whatever they bound or loosed would also be bound or loosed in heaven, He was giving them the authority to practice in the church.

Read Acts 5:1-10.  Here is a case where Peter used this authority.  Who were the two guilty people whose sins were “bound”? and

Now let’s return to Matthew chapter 16.  Read verse 18 again.  In the Greek language, the name “Peter” literally means “stone” or “rock”.  Write this meaning in the spaces below to help see the way Jesus is using the words in Matthew 16:18.  “… You are Peter (that is, or ), and on this rock I will build my church.”

From the earliest times, these words have been understood in different ways.  The three ways in which Jesus’ words have been interpreted are given below.

  1. Some have thought that the words “This Rock” mean Peter, himself.

  2. Others have thought that the words “This Rock refer to the truth that Peter understood on this occasion.

  3. Still others have believed that the words “this Rock” refer to Jesus Christ, who Peter recognized as God.

In a case like this one, where the words are not entirely clear, everyone must make a decision about the interpretation which seems to be the most biblical.  However, you must also allow others to disagree with your own interpretation.

The Role of Money

Purpose: To discover the role of money in relation to our calling.

In our society, what we do in life is tied very closely to the issue of money.  Talk to a college student about what work he or she is pursuing.  It’s inevitable that one of the areas of conversation will be how much money the student plans to make.  That is not entirely bad, as money is a relevant factor in our lives.  We want to take care of our needs and the needs of our family.  Also, money helps us support the church and others in need.

The problem comes when money becomes the primary factor in decision-making in our professional lives.  Where we might make the most money is not necessarily where we will make our greatest contribution to the world.  Where we make the most money is not necessarily where we will be most fulfilled as persons.  And where we make the most money is not necessarily where God wants us to be.

In this session, we will consider the role of money in relation to our calling.  We will look at Jesus’ teaching in his most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 6:19-24) and what it has to say about money.  In this passage, he focuses on practical wisdom about how to live life.

Read Matthew 6:19-24.

Imagine that you are covering this part of the “Sermon on the Mount,” for the financial section of the Jerusalem Times.  What headline might you give your article?

What do you see as the main implication of Jesus’ teaching for today?

In what way have you used one of your prized possessions to help bring joy to others?

In Jesus’ day, to say that a person had a “bad eye” meant that he or she was stingy.  From verses 22-23, what does Jesus imply about the fate of someone whose lifestyle is marked by greed rather than generosity?

Imagine that you are going to Heavenly Securities Investment Corporation (HSIC) to open a new investment portfolio.  The first question they ask is, “What is your main investment objective?  How do you answer?

What are some potential pitfalls in pursuing wealth?

What attitudes or actions might have been different this week if you were primarily concerned with laying up treasure in heaven rather than on earth?

We are going to consider what Paul (in his first letter to Timothy) has to say about the evil and excessive love of money can bring to life.  The letter is primarily concerned with false doctrine.  And in this passage, we see some connection between such false doctrine and the false value of money.  Read 1 Timothy 6:3-10.

What describes your initial reaction to this passage?

What kind of person do you think of when this letter talks about people “who think that godliness is a means to financial gain” (v.5)?

What would it mean for you to take seriously the teaching “godliness with contentment is great gain” (v.6)?

How do you feel about the idea: “We brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it” (v.7)?

In what ways should the fact that “we can’t take it with us” influence the way we live (v.7)?

How do you react to the idea of being content with food and clothing (v.8)?

What do you think is the most serious temptation for the person who wants to get rich (v.9)?

In what ways has our discussion in  this session affected your search for your calling?

if you could reduce your financial commitments and simplify your lifestyle, would you do it?  Why or why not?  Where would you cut back if you decided to do so?

Richard Foster defines commitment to Jesus as the discipline of simplicity – living for the Kingdom of God (as opposed to the loyalties of the world).  He writes that freedom from anxiety is characterized by three inner attitudes:

  • to receive what we have as a gift from God.

  • to know that it is God’s business to care for what we have.

  • to have our goods available to others.

Foster says that simplicity is not only an inner attitude; it also has an outward expression.  The questions below help us examine our lifestyle and our priorities:

  1. Do I buy things for their usefulness rather than for their status?  Do I sometimes act as though my happiness is really tied up with owning a certain product?  Do I attempt to stay within my means and avoid financing schemes?

  2. Am I willing to reject anything that might produce an addiction in me (i.e., a sense that I could just not do without…)?

  3. Am I able to enjoy things without having to possess them as my own?

  4. Am I appreciative of the beauty of creation?

  5. Are honesty and integrity the distinguishing characteristics of my speech?

  6. Am I free to reject anything (e.g. possessions or positions) that breeds the oppression of others?

  7. Do I shun whatever would distract me from my #1 priority – to seek first God’s kingdom and  righteousness?  Do I actively cultivate attitudes and actions that help?

Testimony

Adoniram Judson
BORN: August 9, 1788
Malden, Massachusetts
DIED: April 12, 1850
Bay of Bengal, Burma coast
LIFE SPAN: 61 years, 8 months, 3 days

ONE OF THE WORLD’S MOST HORRIBLE seventeen months of impris-
onment was endured by Adoniram Judson from 1824 to 1825 at
age 37. Little food was given to him. His feet were bound to
a large bamboo pole, his hands to another, and at night his
feet were lifted higher than his head. Thus he was to swing
suspended on the small of his back, his feet tied to a raised
pole. His heroic wife brought little bits of food to him, al-
though she and the baby were near death at times themselves
and eventually succumbed to the rigors of life in Burma. What
was Judson doing during these days in prison? Translating the
Bible, hiding his work in a hard pillow which nobody
investigated.
For pure physical suffering for the sake of the Gos-
pel, Judson must be near the top of most lists. Before we
join him in Burma, we meet him as the son of Adoniram and
Abigail (Brown) Judson, who were pastoring the Congregation-
alist Church at Malden, Massachusetts.
From childhood he possessed a brilliant mind. His
mother taught him to read when he was three, and he became
very studious. At twelve he mastered Greek, and at 14 had a
very serious illness. He would regularly win highest honors
in his class at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island,
where he enrolled in 1804. His parents had high hopes for
him, but skeptical friends such as Jacob Eames, a persuasive
unbeliever, did all they could to crush his faith. Graduating
in 1807, he received valedictorian honors. Adoniram dazzled
the audience with his address on the subject of free enquiry.
Back home he opened the Plymouth (Massachusetts) Independent
Academy. His father was now the pastor of the Third Congrega-
tional Church of Plymouth. He published two textbooks, Ele-
ments of English Grammar and Young Ladies’ Arithmetic.
Being somewhat hypocritical about his living, he an-
nounced to his parents one day he was going to New York to
write for the stage. The parents, stunned, asked him to con-
sider preaching if he was not happy teaching. This only made
him angrier. Their begging with tears was ignored and he
left. However, there was no fortune and fame to be had for
him in New York. He traveled back to an uncle’s home, secured
a horse, and rode west.
One night he took lodging at a village inn. The land-
lord told him he had one room, but it was next to someone
critically ill. Rest did not come. Through the night he heard
sounds of people moving about, weird moans and gasps. He
could not stop thinking about death. Finally, sleep did come
in the early morning hours. The next day he inquired about
the sick man and was told he had died. Judson inquired who it
was. Like an arrow to his heart came the reply: “A Jacob
Eames from the college of Providence.” He galloped back home
toward Plymouth, and spent several long sessions with distin-
guished Christians until in December, 1808, he dedicated him-
self fully to the Lord.
He had decided to study for the ministry and entered
the Andover Theological Seminary at Andover in the fall of
1808. In May, 1809, he made a public profession of his faith
in his father’s church. This was also the year while reading
Buchanan’s Star in the East that his desire to become a mis-
sionary was born. Soon this became an obsession with him.
Back at Williams College in 1806 several young men
formed the first foreign missionary society. The famous
haystack prayer meeting was a result of a storm at their
first meeting which was held outdoors. Samuel J. Mills and
four others–Nott, Newell, Hall, and Luther Rice–jumped into
a haystack and organized a missionary prayer meeting. Now
many of these men were also studying at Andover Seminary and
met Judson. His parents begged him to accept a flourishing
Boston pulpit which was offered to him. But Judson had the
world in his heart and by February, 1810, there was no turn-
ing back.
Up until this time work in America was limited to In-
dians. There were no organized societies sending men to for-
eign service. On June 28, 1810, Mills, Nott, Newell and Jud-
son presented a statement to the General Association of Con-
gregational Ministers at Bradford, Massachusetts, which led
to the organization of the American Board of Commissioners
for Foreign Missions. On June 29, the day following the prop-
osition of the four young Seminary students to go to heathen
Asia with the Gospel, they were invited to the Hasseltine
residence near Bradford, Massachusetts, for a meal. The
Hasseltines were well known for their social functions.
Twenty-year-old Nancy–whose real name was Ann–was helping
her mother prepare the meal. As she greeted the men, a pair
of keen eyes met hers. Judson, the spokesman for the group,
soon was composing a graceful sonnet in her praise. One month
later a letter came to her from Judson. In it, Judson asked
her to marry him and accompany him to India. Two months later
she said yes.
In January, 1811, Judson was sent to England by the
American Board to promote a measure of affiliation and coop-
eration between it and the London Missionary Society, which
William Carey had started. On his trip over he was captured
by a French privateer and imprisoned at Bayonne for a while.
Released, he went to London but had no success on his mis-
sion. The London group did not want to cooperate with unorga-
nized American churches. Also, growing international tensions
on the eve of the War of 1812 made it desirable for the Amer-
ican Board to act independently. They did so immediately
thereafter, and Nott, Newell, Hall, Rice and Judson were ap-
pointed as their first missionaries.
Judson was married on February 5, 1812, and ordained
with his colleagues the next day, February 6, at Salem, Mas-
sachusetts. A few days later, on February 19, the Judsons,
with their friends, sailed for Calcutta, India. In expecta-
tion of meeting Baptists including William Carey, at Serampur
they made a study of baptism and, on board the ocean vessel,
they became convinced that they should become Baptists. Upon
arrival they were immersed in a Baptist church in Calcutta.
This meant support from the Congregational Society would
stop, and this brought some hardships to Judson. Because of
it, Luther Rice returned to America, rallied the Baptist
churches, and by 1814 the American Baptist Missionary Union
was formed, under which Judson came.
Arriving in Calcutta, Judson found that the War of
1812 between England and America had shut India’s doors to
him, as the East India Company, fearing trouble might arise
from missionaries working with the natives, advised that he
and his friends should sail for America. Unwelcomed by former
associates, he went to Isle of France and Madras.
At that time a vessel was ready for a trip to
Rangoon, Burma, and the Judsons decided to go there. However,
the first of much coming suffering and anguish was evidenced
on this trip. Tossed by a fierce monsoon in the Bay of
Bengal, Ann became desperately ill, and Judson expected her
death momentarily. Attended only by her husband, Ann gave
birth to her first baby, which soon died and had to be buried
at sea. They reached Rangoon in July, 1813, taking up resi-
dence at the Felix Carey Mission House. Mrs. Judson was still
severely ill, so she had to be carried in a stretcher as they
disembarked. It was two and a half years before she would re-
ceive a letter from home. These were times of strenuous la-
bors and difficulties. The people were engaged in idolatry–
mostly devout Buddhists–and the emperor would not tolerate
any religious teaching. Finally, through his medical knowl-
edge, Judson was able to gain the favor of the emperor. Here
the Judsons labored diligently, gathering around them natives
as they were able. It was an unspeakably filthy village where
they lived, and at night the dogs and pigs would fight over
the garbage littered throughout the city. Ann opened a school
for children and for such women as might desire to attend.
She was an outstanding missionary in her own right. Judson
busied himself with mastering the language, and decided he
must translate the Bible into Burmese. He said, “I long to
see the whole New Testament complete, for I will then be able
to devote all my time to preaching the Gospel.”
Judson felt it time to start preaching the Gospel in
public after awhile. In order to make friends with the Bur-
mese people, he would have to make a zayat for them. This was
a large public building where the farmers and businessmen
could gather to talk or relax at any time. Finding a spot on
a busy road, he made the zayat. When the travelers found out
the white man was not charging for this service, they soon
became very friendly toward the missionaries. While building
a small chapel by the roadside, he spoke to hundreds as they
traveled back and forth to and from the city. The first
Christian service in the native tongue was held April 4,
1819. After six years of labor, he had his first convert,
Moung Nau, a lady, who was baptized in Rangoon on June 27,
1819. Though it took him six years for his first convert,
within two years he had 18 baptized converts and a Burmese
church started. The Bible translation work was going slow,
but progressed.
During this time a son, Roger, was born. He lived
only seven months then died. Soon after this Judson himself
became sick. Long hours of study in a hot climate would be
difficult, but his “books” were dried palm leaves strung to-
gether, with the letters poorly scratched on them. No wonder
he complained of eyestrain and headaches. For months he lay
in bed, his eyes sore from disease.
In 1821, Ann made a two-year visit to America for her
health. In 1823 Brown University granted Judson an honorary
D.D. In June, 1823, Ann embarked for the voyage back to
Burma. In December, 1823, the couple left Rangoon. New mis-
sionaries had arrived to care for the growing mission there.
Adoniram was encouraged by the emperor’s invitation to found
a Christian mission in Ava, the capital city, and promise to
give them land for a mission station. However, Dr. Price, who
had preceded them, met them and warned them that the tide was
suddenly turned against foreigners because of imminent war
with Great Britain. All white visitors were now looked upon
with suspicion. Rangoon had fallen to the British and
foreigners were now in trouble in Ava.
On June 8, 1824, begins a story of unbelievable
punishments. In their compound Adoniram was thrown to the
floor and dragged away, put in prison. For a while it was one
dark, filthy room. He was forbidden to speak to his fellow
prisoners except rarely, and was denied water and fresh
clothing. Fellow prisoners were whipped and, worse still, led
forth at three in the afternoon for execution. He never knew
what day would be his turn.
The question now was how to preserve the precious
manuscripts of exhausting years of Bible translations. Ann
decided to hide them in a pillow. She made a hard one. The
jailer grabbed it and kept it as his own. Grief filled their
hearts. Ann, not to be outdone, made a prettier, nicer pillow
and brought it to the prison, and Judson said to the jailer,
“How would you like to exchange the old, soiled pillow for
this bright new one?” Many times, smitten down with disease
and at death’s door, he breathed out the prayer, “Lord, let
me finish my work. Spare me long enough to put Thy saving
Word into the hands of a perishing people.” The prayer was
answered. Ann was the first missonary to learn Siamese and to
translate a portion of Scripture, the Gospel of Matthew, into
that tongue.
Adoniram was bound during nine months of this period
with three pairs of fetters. Two months the amount was five
pairs. His sufferings from fever, excruciating heat, hunger,
repeated disappointments and cruelty of keepers is one of the
most challenging narratives in the history of missions. On
one occasion, pitifully weak and emaciated, he was driven in
chains across the burning tropical sands, until, his back
lacerated and his feet covered with blisters, he fell to the
ground and prayed for a speedy death. For almost two years he
was incarcerted in a prison too vile to house animals. One
room which he and many other prisoners were crowded into was
without a window and felt like a fiery furnace under the mer-
ciless glare of the tropical sun. The stench of the place was
terrible, vermin crawled everywhere, and the jailer, Mr.
Spotted Face, was a brute in human form. Judson would have
fallen except for the tender, persistent ministrations of his
wife Ann. Bribing the jailer, under cover of darkness, she
crept to the door of Judson’s den, bringing food and whisper-
ing words of hope and consolation.
At one point, for three long weeks she did not ap-
pear. But when she returned, she brought in her arms a new-
born baby. This explained her absence. Amid much pain Adoni-
ram Judson crawled forth and took the child in his arms. Af-
terwards he composed 24 stanzas of poetry in her honor.
Smallpox was raging unchecked through the city, and
little Maria Judson was smitten. Ann found herself unable to
nurse the little one. Ann took her baby up and down the
streets of the city, pleading for mercy and for milk. Through
the kindness of a native mother who had a small child, the
baby was kept alive.
A caged lion starved to death before an alleged plan
to turn him loose on some of the prisoners was implemented.
Mrs. Judson cleaned out the cage and secured permission for
her husband to stay there for a few weeks, since he was crit-
ically ill with fever. Her efforts to relieve the sufferings
of the English prisoners received tributes of warmest grati-
tude and praise. She walked fearlessly and was respected from
palace to prison.
Once the prisoners were moved ten miles away to a
jail at Oung-pen-la. Ann caught up by boat, then oxcart. Not
being permitted to put her own little bamboo house near the
prison, Ann took refuge in a little room half-filled with
grain and accumulated dirt.
Here she stayed for many days, stricken down and ly-
ing prostrate by tropical disease. She lay helpless on her
mat on the floor for two months. God sent some help at the
last possible moment. A Burmese woman offered to care for and
to nurse the baby. Then Dr. Price was released from prison
and hastened to her bedside. Slowly she was revived, although
she could scarecly breathe. She sent a servant to make one
more appeal to the governor to release Adoniram. The governor
sent a petition to the high court of the empire and Adoniram
was released about November, 1825, and that only on a peremp-
tory demand on the part of General Sir Archibald Campbell. He
was given the post of interpreter of message for the Burmese
government–a job which was practically an imprisonment.
Upon release from this servitude his one thought
was–“Is Ann still alive?” Upon reaching the room where he
knew she was last, he saw a fat, half-naked Burmese woman
squatting in the ashes beside a pan of coals, holding on her
knees an emaciated baby, so begrimed with dirt that it did
not occur to him that it could be his own. Across the foot of
the bed lay a human object who at first glance was no more
recognizable than his child. The face was pale and the body
shrunken to the last degree of emaciation. Black curls had
all been shorn from the bald head. It was Ann who roused from
her stupor, as warm tears fell upon her face.
Nursed slowly back to health, the Judsons transferred
their headquarters to Amherst in Lower Burma.
Amherst was on a long strip of Burmese seacoast which
Great Britain had secured, and here they and their four Bur-
mese Christian converts created a mission and home in the
summer of 1826. In the anticipation that his presence would
be of help in insuring religious liberty to the subjects of
Burma, Judson was prevailed upon to accompany the British
Civil Commissioner to Ava in the capacity of British ambassa-
dor. While he was gone, Ann fell victim to another fever;
this time, it proved to be too vicious. Before she died she
said, “The teacher (husband) is long in coming; and the new
missionaries are long in coming; I must die alone and leave
my little one. But as it is the will of God, I acquiesce in
his will.”
She died October 24, 1826, when she was not yet 37
years of age. When Judson returned his heart was broken, as
he buried his wife under a hopia tree in Amherst. About three
months later he buried his third child–next to Ann.
In 1827 he moved to Maulmain where he continued to
work as long as he lived. In 1828 he began preaching to the
Karens, a race of wild people living in the remote areas of
the jungles.
An evangelistic opportunity came one day in 1828,
when a Karen slave was sold in the bazaar in Moulmain and
bought by a native Christian, who forthwith brought him to
Judson to be taught and evangelized. Ko Tha Byu was a desper-
ate robber bandit and was involved in some 30 murders.
Patiently, Judson instructed the depraved creature, who
yielded to Christ and went through the jungles as a flaming
evangelist among his people. The Karens then prepared for
their reception of the Gospel message. God blessed, and other
missionaries arrived to assist–among whom were the
Boardmans. The tasks and terrible climate all took their
toll, and Mr. Boardman died. Mrs. Boardman (born in 1803) re-
mained to teach school in Burma and, in April, 1834, she be-
came Judson’s second wife. Eight children were born in their
eleven years of marriage, three of whom died at an early age.
Judson completed a revision of the Old Testament in
the Burmese language by 1834, and he finished the Burmese New
Testament in 1837. That year there were 1,144 baptized con-
verts in Burma. Judson would preach and teach all morning and
in the evening would hold a service for believers and
inquirers. But he was finding it more difficult to speak in
public. He had been ill so many times his voice was growing
weak. His wife Sarah also was repeatedly ill, and so he de-
cided a furlough might be in order. But Mrs. Judson’s health
never regained, and she died in the port of St. Helena in
1845, at age 42.
After 33 years of absence, Judson was royally re-
ceived in the United States, where he told the story of Burma
missions, which Ann had several years earlier written in book
form. The cause of missions was helped, and interest in the
cause he represented was evident by the crowded assemblies
gathered to see and hear him. Like Livingstone, he shunned
the public gaze and was modest and shy when it came to speak-
ing. Home on his first and only furlough, he was asked if the
prospects were bright for the conversion of the world. His
famous reply was, “As bright, Sirs, as the promises of God!”
On July 11, 1846, he set sail for Burma again, having
married on June 2, to Miss Emily Chubbock of Eaton, N.Y.
(born in 1817). She became a brilliant writer.
Back in Burma in 1847, divine blessings rested upon
his continued Burmese-English dictionary. This was a work
first issued in 1826 but revised constantly through his life.
Many tracts were printed as well.
Still in poor health, in 1850 he was advised to take
a sea voyage to recuperate. His wife, also very ill, could
not go with him, so he was carried on board the vessel too
weak to walk. Four days later, on April 12, 1850, en route to
the Isle of France, Adoniram Judson passed on and was buried
at sea. His wife died in 1854, four years later.
Thirty years after Judson’s death the native work
which he gave birth to numbered 7,000 converts and some 63
churches. The working staff over which he had oversight con-
sisted of 163 missionaries, native pastors and assistants.
There was a publishing house, schools where natives were
taught to read, and many more testimonials to his life’s
work. One hundred years later, on the anniversary of his
death, Burma had some 200,000 Christians.
Judson’s work not only accomplished something in
Burma but his general results also affected all of India. In
his 37 years of missionary labor he succeeded in gradually
working up a sentiment in the East of religious toleration,
which bears much fruit even today. One of his most successful
efforts was the organization of an extensive trained body of
native assistants to aid him in the translation of the Bible
and other works into Burmese, and in the compilation of his
Burmese-English and English-Burmese dictionary, Burmese gram-
mar and Pali dictionary. These works, though intended prima-
rily as aids for missionaries, have been great aids to the
study, by students and scholars, of the languages of the
East.
Almost overlooked is the fact that Judson wrote two
famous hymn-poems, Our Father God, Who Art in Heaven (1825)
and Come, Holy Spirit, Dove Divine (1832).
Speaking at the dedication of the Judson Memorial
Church in New York City, a son, Edward, spoke referring to
his father:

Suffering and success go together. If you are succeeding
without suffering, it is because others before you have
suffered; if you are suffering without succeeding, it is that
others after you may succeed.

Judson probably illustrated this truth as much as any
man who ever lived.

Advertisements

About georgehach

I am a retired Lay Minister, acting as a prophet for God to understand the end times that is comingg and how to prepare for it.
This entry was posted in Christian. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to 2-3-5-Angels

  1. Pingback: 2-3-5-Angels | Christians Anonymous

Comments are closed.