Blog Scripture Readings for 6-26 Through 7-2-16

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Sh’lach L’cha — Numbers 13:1– 15:41
Haftarah — Joshua 2:1-24
Prophets — Jeremiah 51:36 – 52:34; Ezekiel 1:1 – 5:17
Writings — Ecclesiastes 9:1 – 12:14; Esther 1:1 – 3:15
Testimony — 1 Corinthians 1:1 – 7:24

Most of this week’s blog discussion points will be on these passages. If you have general comments or questions on the weekly Scripture readings not addressed in a blog post, here’s a place for you to post those. Just use the “leave a reply” link below.

The full “Read Through The Scriptures In A Year” schedule, broken down by each day, can be found on the right sidebar under “Helpful Links.” There are 4 sections of scripture to read each day. One each from the Torah, the Prophets, the Writings, and from the Testimony of Yeshua. Each week, the Torah and haftarah readings will follow the traditional one-year reading cycle.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 6/26 through 7/2/16.

 

Donald Trump Revisited

2016 Donald Trump Hillary Clinton

Yesterday, Rick Wiles of Trunews (http://www.trunews.com) interviewed Dr. Robert Jeffress, pastor of the 12,000 member First Baptist Church of Dallas, TX. Jeffress is a member of the Executive Advisory Board to represent the concerns of evangelical Christians to Donald Trump. He also a personal friend of Donald Trump. He had some amazing things to say about Trump.

For example, last week, Donald Trump called a meeting of more than 900 American evangelical leaders in NYC to hear their thoughts and concerns and to explain to them what he would do to help Christians if he became president. When was the last time a presidential candidate did that?  Both Rick Wiles and Robert Jeffress were at that by-invitation only meeting. Moreover, at that meeting,Trump convened a faith advisory counsel comprised of major evangelical leaders to advise him on issues of concern to conservative Christians of which Jeffress is a member. This is unprecedented!

Here are some major differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton according to Pastor Jeffress, and why, according to him, Bible believers should support Donald Trump’s presidency bid:

  • Donald Trump is pro-life. Hillary Clinton is pro-abortion up until the day a baby is born.
  • Trump promises to appoint conservative justices to the supreme court, and has even provided a list of names from which he will choose. There is no reason to doubt that Clinton will appoint the most activist “socialistic progressive,” liberal judges imaginable.
  • Trump is for religious freedom for Christian Americans as well as all Americans. Clinton has said that for women to have unfettered access to abortion “the deeply seated religious beliefs of some will have to be changed.”
  • Trump understands the threat to America from radical Islamists and terrorists, and has promised to protect this country from that threat. Clinton can’t even say the words “terrorist” or “Islamic terrorist” without choking on them.
  • Trump believes that Christians are being marginalized in the U.S. You will never hear this coming out of the lips of Clinton.
  • Trump has  promised to rescind the IRS’s 501C3 restrictions on churches and ministries from being able to speak out about public affairs and being active politically. He wants to remove the restrictions on Christian pastors and leaders from endorsing candidates and taking political stands. He wants to insure the religious freedom of pastors from being able to speak openly from the pulpit about political issues.
  • Trump likes Christians and wants to help them. With regard to Clinton, there is nothing to indicate that she has the same attitude. In fact, Clinton is a protege of Saul Aliniski, the radical “progressive” Leninist who dedicated his book, Rules for Radicals to Lucifer.

I encourage the reader to listen to Rick Wiles’ interview of Dr. Jeffress. The interview starts at 1:01.30 in the podcast (it lasts just a few minutes), and is available at: file:///Users/nathan/Music/iTunes/iTunes%20Media/Podcasts/TRUNEWS%20with%20Rick%20Wiles/TRUNEWS%2006_27_16%20Robert%20Jeffress%20_%20Globalist%20Revolution.mp3  (You will need to  copy this url and paste it into your web browser.)

 

Do you have faith or fear?

"Promised Land" Road Sign with dramatic clouds and sky.

Numbers 13:2, Send forth men, if you please (The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash). The implication here is that Elohim gave Moses permission to send out the spies, but left the final decision up to him. This idea is confirmed in Deuteronomy 1:22 where Moses states that the idea to spy out the land came from the Israelites, not from YHVH. By allowing them to do this, it appears that YHVH was deliberately putting them to the test to see if they would trust him when he had already told them that Canaan was a good land and theirs for the taking with his help. Would they walk by faith in his word and promises or would they have to see the actual land before believing YHVH’s word?

When YHVH gives you a promise, do you have to see it come to pass before believing it, or are you able to simply begin taking steps of faith toward the fulfillment of the promises without actually seeing any tangible evidence of the end goal? What has YHVH promised you and what steps of faith have you taken toward possessing your spiritual “promised inheritance?” (Read the scriptural definition of faith in Heb 11:1.)

YHVH did not choose the twelve spies, the people did; hence, the name of this parashah, “Send for Yourselves.” When people choose their own leaders the failure rate is high­—in this case ten of twelve leaders were faithless duds. Man-inspired and initiated efforts seldom produce lasting spiritual benefits. This effort ended in the Continue reading

 

Help Wanted: Arborist/Amanuensis

An arborist cutting a tree with a chainsaw

Help wanted: A motivated young man in excellent physical condition who possesses basic arboricultural skills (i.e. pruning of trees and ornamental shrubs and basic tree climbing skills) and who loves the Torah and Yeshua to help me in my tree service business and ministry as my amanuensis. An amanuensis is a personal assistant or protege to a writer or teacher as Timothy, Titus or Mark were to Paul. He must also possess solid, general  computer skills.

As an arborist, you would work for me in my tree care business and be well-compensated financially commensurate with your skill level and desire to improve your skills as an arborist. I would use my 30 years of professional experience in this profession to help you.

young man reading small bible

As my amanuensis, I would use my 50 years in the Torah, 25 years in ministry and 18 years as pastoring a pro-Torah, Hebrew roots, gospel oriented congregation to mentor you in growing spiritually and in ministering the Word of Elohim to others. In return, you would help me from time-to-time an as-need basis as my personal assistant in the ministry.

If interested, please contact me at arborist@goodnewstree.com or at goodnewstree.com.

 

Some Thoughts on Moses’ Divorce and Remarriage

Numbers 12:1, Whom he had married. Some Jewish sages (e.g. Rashi, Baal HaTurim) teach that Moses divorced Zipporah and remarried an Ethiopian or Cushite woman. Was Moses’ marriage to the Ethiopian woman legal in YHVH’s eyes? If not, perhaps this is what the siblings’ complaint was about. Consider this. When Moses married Ziporah, he was not “saved.” His first encounter with YHVH occurred at the burning bush after he had already married Zipporah. This is when Moses received his spiritual calling. He received salvation on Passover night in his house with the lamb’s blood painted on the door. He was baptized in the Red Sea and received the Torah at Mount Sinai.

There is no indication that Zipporah accepted Moses’ heavenly calling to follow YHVH. Even though her father, Yitro, as a descendant of Abraham, knew and seemed to have followed YHVH, this may not have been the case with his daughter. To the contrary, she seems to have resisted YHVH and obedience to him (Exod 4:24–26). In fact, it appears that she returned to Yitro, her father, in Midian and did not accompany Moses in the exodus (see Exod 18:2).

The point is that sometimes YHVH will call, commission and grant salvation to a married person, but the person’s spouse is not open to receiving that calling and salvation. In such instances if the unsaved spouse remains hard hearted toward YHVH and after a period of time has passed, the saved spouse is released from their marriage and is free to remarry a believer.  Paul discusses this in 1 Corinithians 7:10–16.

Though the Torah doesn’t tell us, it is entirely possible that Zipporah was dead by the time Moses married the Cushite woman, since he was an elderly man (somewhere between the age of 80 and 120). Yeshua accepts the fact that because of the hardness of hearts, the Torah permits divorce (Matt 19:8) and presumably remarriage, as seems to have been the case with Moses.

Presumably, the Cushite woman was part of the mixed multitude that accompanied the Israelites in their exodus out of Egypt.

 

What are the 11 levels of a prophet?

There Are Eleven Levels of a Prophet

A little known fact in modern-day church prophetic circles is that the Bible reveals that there are eleven levels of a prophet. The list below is adopted from The Guide to the Perplexed (by Moses Maimonides [or the Rambam] pp. 241–245.) Most so-called prophets in the church if they are on the list of the requirements for being a true prophet are at the lowest levels. This fact alone should cool the prophetic jets of most who think they’re Elohim’s elect and anointed prophet to the body of Yeshua. In reality, considering Israel’s long history, the Scriptures reveal that there were very few Elohim-sent prophets. Long periods of time passed without there being a true prophet of Elohim in Israel. There was no shortage of false and carnal-minded prophets, however. Now here’s the list:

  • Divine assistance given to a person to induce or encourage him to do something good and grand (e.g. Judg 2:18; 1 Sam 11:6; 1 Chr 12:18; Exod 2:17; 1 Sam 16:17). Scripture often records this occurrence when it states, “And the Spirit of YHVH came upon so and so…”
  • The person feels as if something came upon him, and as if he had received a new power that encourages him to speak. Such a person is said to speak by the Set-Apart Spirit. The books of Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon, Daniel, Job, Chronicles and the rest of the Ketuvim (Writings or Hagiographa) were written under the inspiration of the Set-Apart Spirit. See also 2 Sam 23:2; Num 11:25; 2 Chron 20:14–15; Num 23:5; etc.) Often prefaced by the phrase, “The Spirit of YHVH spoke to me…” or “So and so prophesied…”

Below are the levels of a prophet. Not all people who have these experiences are prophets. Those who hold the biblical office of a prophet will experience these things regularly and will manifest the biblical fruits, power, authority and anointing of a prophet.

  • This is the lowest class of a prophet. Those who introduce their speech by the phrase, “And the word of YHVH came unto me…” or a similar phrase. Sometimes he will see a prophetic allegory in a dream. Such was the case with Zechariah.
  • The prophet hears in a prophetic dream something clearly and distinctly, but does not see the speaker as in the case of the call of young Samuel (e.g. 1 Sam 3).
  • A person addresses the prophet in a dream, as was the case in some of the prophecies of Ezekiel (e.g. Ezek 40:4).
  • An angel speaks to him in a dream. This applies to most of the prophets in Scripture (e.g. Gen 31:11).
  • In a prophetic dream it appears to the prophet as if YHVH spoke to him (e.g. Isa 6:1, 8; 1 Kgs 22:19).
  • Something presents itself to a prophet in a prophetic vision; he sees allegorical figures, such as were seen by Abraham in the vision “between the pieces” (Gen 15:9–10); for it was in a vision by daytime, as is distinctly stated.
  • The prophet hears words in a prophetic vision, but does not see the person speaking to him; as is said in reference to Abraham, “And behold, the word came to him, saying, This shall not be thine heir.” (Gen 15:1, 4). This occurred to Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3ff)
  • The prophet sees an angel that speaks to him in a prophetic vision as happened with Peter in his vision of the sheet from heaven (Acts 10:3) (also Rev 19:10; 22:9)
  • He sees an Angel (or Messenger) of YHVH (literally, the preincarnate YHVH Yeshua) that speaks to him in a vision, as was the case when Abraham was addressed by an angel at the sacrifice of Isaac (Gen 22:15) and many other places where the Messenger of YHVH speaks to his servants directly (e.g. Gen 12:7; 16:7–13; 17:1, 22; 18:1; 22:11, 15; 32:24–32; 35:1; Exod 3:2; 13:21; 14:20; 33:9–11; 34:5; Num 11:25; Deut 31:15–16; Num 22:35–38; Josh 5:13–15; Judg 6:11–23; 13:3; Isa 6:1ff; John in the Book of Revelation).

If you fancy yourself being a prophet, where are you on this list? Probably near the bottom. Until Elohim elevates you, it might be best to hold your peace and wait a little longer on him.

 

Seven Ways to Misuse the Mouth

Mouth 4 20837968

Numbers 12:1–3, Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses. This is slander! None of us are immune from this sinful proclivity of man’s fallen nature. Sadly, such activity is rife within our congregations! As long as we give in to gossip and slander we will grieve the Spirit of Elohim and will not advance spiritually. We’re all guilty of this. Confess your sin and repent now! What does YHVH say about those who sow seeds of discord among brethren? How does view it? (See Prov 6:16 and 16.) How did the apostles handle such individuals? (Note Rom 16:17; Tit 3:10; 2 Thess 3:6; 1 Tim 3:5.) What was the penalty that YHVH prescribed for Miriam because of the evil misuse of her mouth? (Read Num 12:14.) How does this penalty compare with that which Paul prescribes for those who cause division and strife with in the congregation? What does Paul teach about slandering or rebuking an elder in the congregation? (See 1 Tim 1:19.) What does he call such activity? (Read verse 20.)

Seven Ways to Misuse the Mouth

(From a book entitled Stop the Runaway Conversation by Dr. Michael Sedler)

The Backbiter: One who speaks against an absent individual. All criticisms and comments, as the name implies, are made without the accused being present or are behind his back. (Ps 15:2–3; Rom 1:30; Prov 25:23; 2 Cor 12:20)

The Busybody: One who seeks out information on a false report and spreads it by means of gossip, slander, backbiting, etc. YHVH takes this very seriously. In fact, he equates being a busybody with being an evildoer or even a murderer. (1 Pet 4:15; 1 Tim 5:13; 2 Thess 3:11)

The Complainer: One who finds fault. This type of person often uses a personal situation as a platform for his or her complaint. “I was treated unfairly.” “Do you know what this person did?” You think that’s bad, let me tell you what happened to me.” These are the types of phrases that will come from such a person. (Num 11:1; Jude 16)

The Murmurer: One who grumbles. We find that this person is usually complaining but only loudly enough for those in close proximity to hear. The murmuring person is seldom happy or pleased with the outcome of situations. Like the complainer, he looks for faults and then justifies a bad attitude with his comments. (Phil 2:14; Num 16:2; Jude 16)

The Slanderer: This is an individual who tries to injure someone’s reputation or character by false and defamatory statements. (Num 14:36; Jer 6:28; 9:4; 1 Tim 3:11; Prov 10:18; Ps 101:5)

The Talebearer (or Gossip): This is a person who elaborates and exaggerates so as to make a story more dramatic or “juicy”). (Prov 11:13; Lev 19:16; Rom 1:28–30; see also Prov 18:8; 20:19; 26:20,22; 1 Tim 5:13)

The Whisperer: This is an individual who talks about other people privately, secretly and covertly in order to hurt them. (Prov 16:28; Ps 41:7)