Blog Scripture Readings for 5-29 Through 6-4-16

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat B’chukotai — Leviticus 26:3 – 27:34
Haftarah —Jeremiah 16:19 – 17:14
Prophets — Jeremiah 24:1 – 30:24
Writings — Job 41:1 – 42:17; Song of Songs 1:1 – 5:16
Testimony — 1 John 1:1 – 5:21; 2 John; 3 John

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 5/29 through 6/4/16.

 

Sandi’s Bald Eagle Pics from Alaska

As most of you know, Sandi and I just returned from a week-long cruise through the Inland Passage to Alaska. I have already posted a few of our best photos from that trip on this blog earlier this week. As promised, here are some bald eagle pics.

Our boat trip out of Ketchikan, Alaska to the sovereign waters surrounding an island owned by a local native Alaskan tribe, which is also a bald eagle sanctuary, afforded us some once in a lifetime photo ops of the eagles diving for fish. When we got to the island, the crew of the crabbing boat we were on tossed herrings into the seawaters for the bald eagles to dive for. The eagles were waiting for us in the trees along the shore.

There were dozens of eagles perched in the western red cedar and sitka spruce trees. Seeing the eagles diving for fish was one of the high points of our trip. Just thinking of the privilege of seeing these majestic birds in action brings chills up my spine! Eagles can weigh up to twelve pounds and have a wing span of seven feet! There were dozens of them flying all at once diving for fish. What an awesome experience. The wonders of Jehovah’s creation!

Now here are the photos.

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Did the Catholic Church Canonize the New Testament? NO!

Who canonized the New Testament?

Who canonized the New Testament?

2 Peter 2:12– 21, Near the end of Peter’s life (in the mid sixties of the first century) Peter was concerned with preserving the true and precious Gospel message for posterity. The principal subject of Peter’s Second Epistle was “the precious and exceeding great promises” of Messiah (2 Pet. 1:12) (Martin, p. 285). Second Peter 1:12-21 records Peter’s thoughts on this subject. In this passage, Martin calls our attention to several key phrases that express Peter’s intentions in this regard. Please note them.

12 Wherefore I will not be negligent to remind you of these things [the Gospel message], though ye know them, and be firmly fixed in the present truth. 13 Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14 knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Master Yeshua Messiah hath showed me. 15 Moreover I will endeavor that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance. [or, But I will give diligence that at each time you may be able after my death to recall these things to remembrance.] 16 For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Master Yeshua Messiah, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17 For he received from Elohim the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. 18 And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount [the Mount of Transfiguration]. 19 We have also a more sure word of prophecy [as opposed to those who propagate fables]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed [to what we are saying, as opposed to those who propagate heretical fables] as unto a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: 20 knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation. 21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but set-apart men of Elohim spoke as they were moved by the Set-apart Spirit. (emphasis added)

What Peter is saying here is that believers would always have the truth with them. According to Ernest Martin, the only way this could rationally be accomplished is for Peter to leave some authorized written record. He alludes to this when he says, “But I will give diligence that at each time you may be able after my death to recall these things to remembrance … The phrase “at each time” means that the reader could return again and Continue reading

 

False Teachings and Destructive Heresies in the Early Church

Who goes there?

Thief sneaking through door2 Peter 2:1, False teachers…destructive heresies. When did several prominent but destructive, non-biblical heresies creep into the early church, which are now major doctrines in mainstream Christianity? Here is a partial list along with the approximate times the early church fathers began teaching these doctrines.

The Human Soul Is Immortal

The immortality of the soul was not  a Hebraic concept, but originated from the ancient Greek philosophers. This pagan concept made its way into the church as Gentiles who were steeped in the thinking of the Greek philosophers gained control of the early church after the death of the last apostles.

A.D. 130— The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, ch. 6

Ca. A.D. 155—The First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 18

Ca. A.D. 180—Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book Two, ch. 34

Ca. A.D. 180—Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book Five, chaps. 7.1; 31.1

Teachings Against the Sabbath and Biblical Feasts

There is no record in the Bible of the early New Testament believers replacing the seventh-day Sabbath with Sunday. To say so is wishful thinking, a twisting of the Scriptures and biblical revisionism. It wasn’t until the fourth century at the Council of Nicea under Roman emperor Constantine that the Sunday officially replaced the Sabbath in the early church. Until that time, many Christian churches still observed the Sabbath throughout the Roman empire. The process of transitioning from Sabbath to Sunday observance was a slow one beginning in the early second century and had its roots largely in antisemitism.

A.D. 130—The Epistle of Mathetes to Diognetus, ch. 4. The author calls the Sabbath and biblical feasts “utterly ridiculous and unworthy of notice.”

Ca. A.D. 130—Epistle of Barnabas, ch. 2 (also ch. 14). The author says that the Sabbaths (weekly Sabbath and biblical feasts) are abolished.

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Philippians, ch. 14

Observance of the Lord’s Day (Sunday) Advocated Over Sabbath Observance

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesian, ch. 9. The author says to keep the Sabbath on Sunday.

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians, ch. 9

Ca. A.D. 130—Epistle of Barnabas, ch. 14

Ca. A.D. 155—The First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 67

Teachings Against the Torah

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, ch. 6. The author declare, “If anyone preach the Jewish law, listen not to him.”

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesian, ch. 10

Ca. A.D. 155—The First Apology of Justin Martyr, ch. 47. The author states that out of “weak-mindedness,” some Christians observe the Mosaic law. Sabbath and feast days observance are optional, but not encouraged.

Anti-Semetic/Anti-Torah Theology

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesian, chaps. 8, 10

Ca. A.D. 180—Irenaeus’ Against Heresies, Book Four, ch. 16.4. The author declares that the Decalogue was not cancelled by the New Covenant, but the statues and judgments of the Torah were a bondage to the Israelites and are no longer binding on Christians.

Teachings Against the Biblical Dietary Laws of Clean and Unclean Meats

Early part of second century A.D.—Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians, ch. 6. The author states that one who adheres the biblical dietary laws “has the apostate dragon dwelling within him.”

Easter Celebration Established a Christian Holiday

Ca. A.D. 150—The celebration of the resurrection within the early church began in the middle of the second century (History of the Christian Church, vol. 2, pp. 207–8, by Philip Schaff). The date of Easter and its formal establishment and disconnection from Passover occurred in A.D. 325 at the council of Nicea.

Sabbath Officially Changed to Sunday

A.D. 321—Sunday officially becomes the weekly day of worship (in place of the Sabbath) by a legal enactment of Emporer Constantine (History of the Christian Church, vol. 3, p. 378ff, by Philip Schaff; History of the Christianity, vol 1, p. 93, by Kenneth Scott Latourette)

Christmas Established as a Christian Holiday

Ca. A.D. 354—Christmas originated in the middle to the end of the fourth century as a Christian holiday as an outgrowth of a pagan festival celebrating the birth of the pagan sun god.

 

The Seven Steps to Being Complete in Biblical Love

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2 Peter 1:5–7, Add to your faith. This list of seven character qualities shows us the progressive steps one must go through to become mature spiritually.

Faith: First there is initial faith in YHVH Elohim, which is the starting point in our spiritual walk. This is the same faith Abraham had when YHVH told him to leave Babylonia, and it was accounted to him for righteousness sake (Gen 15:6; Rom 4:3).

Virtue: Second, initial faith in Elohim is “filled out with” (as J. P. Green translates it) virtue, which is defined as “moral excellence.” This is can be no less than one’s learning to conform one’s lives to the high standards of the Torah, which tells us how to walk in relationship with Elohim (as summarized by the first four of the ten commandments) and our fellow man (as summarized by the last six of the ten commandments). Virtue is the opposite of sin, and the Torah shows us what sin and moral excellence are by showing us what to do (the path of blessing and life) and what not to do (the path of curses and death).

Knowledge: Third, as one begins to walk out Torah-obedience, one gains a deeper and more perfect understanding of the heart, will and mind of Elohim as expressed in the Continue reading

 

Boycott of Target Stores Is Proving Though CEO Is in Denial

From http://www.christianpost.com/news/franklin-graham-target-ceo-denial-stocks-tank-10-billion-transgender-bathroom-policy-164451/

Franklin Graham: Target CEO in Denial as Stocks Tank $10B Over Transgender Bathroom Policy

May 24, 2016|12:24 pm

Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham, son of evangelist Billy Graham, addresses the crowd at the Festival of Hope, an evangelistic rally held at the national stadium in Port-au-Prince, January 9, 2011.

The Rev. Franklin Graham says Target CEO Brian Cornell is in denial over the reason for the company’s plunging stock prices, insisting that the conservative boycott against the retailer’s transgender bathroom policies is playing a key role.

“Target stock is tumbling after they announced a pro-transgender restroom policy allowing men to use women’s bathrooms and changing rooms. Stock value has fallen 20 percent and shareholder value has lost $10 billion since they began promoting this dangerous policy,” Graham wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

He then referred to a media statement made by Cornell, where he denied suggestions that the conservative boycott is to blame for Target’s financial setbacks.

“To date we have not seen a material or measurable impact on our business. Just a handful of stores across the country have seen some activity and have been impacted,” Cornell told Forbes last week.

Graham responded: “Really? He must be in denial. Wake up corporate America and stockholders — American families clearly do not want this. Over 1.2 million people have signed the online petition to boycott Target stores. This is sending a strong message, and I hope that millions more will sign it.”

The leader of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association linked to the petition started by the American Family Association, which has collected over 1.2 million signatures against Target’s new bathroom policies allowing customers and employees to choose which bathroom they go to based on their gender identity.

While Target has explained that its directive is aimed at being inclusive and helping all customers feel welcomed, AFA warned that it opens up a very dangerous situation for women.

“This means a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom … even if young girls or women are already in there. Target’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?” the petition asks.

Meanwhile, Traditional Values Coalition, another conservative group that has started its own petition against Target, warned that parents should not allow their young daughters to try on swimsuits in the retail giant’s dressing rooms.

“We need more people to sign up for the boycott. We’re launching something this week. We’re now heading into bathing suit season. … Do not let your young girls and teen girls buy their summer clothes or bathing suits at Target,” Andrea Lafferty, president of the Traditional Values Coalition, told Breitbart News Daily with SiriusXM on Monday.

Despite conservative criticism and reports of plunging stock prices, Target has remained firm and said it will not be reversing its bathroom policy.

“Our focus on safety is unwavering. And we want to make sure we provide a welcoming environment for all of our guests,” Cornell said in another interview earlier in May.

 

Biblical Slavery Is Different Than Traditional Slavery

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Leviticus 25:42, Slaves. The Hebrew word slaves or bondmen is ebed meaning “slave, servant, man-servant, worshiper (of God), servant (of God, e.g. Levite, priest or prophet).” Ebed derives from the basic Hebrew root word and verb, abad, meaning “to work or serve.” The word abab refers to service that can be directed toward people, things or Elohim. In biblical usage, if directed toward things, abad can refer to tilling the earth, dressing a vineyard, working flax or constructing a city. When abad is used in reference to serving YHVH it can refer to Levitical and priestly service. In Hebraic thought, such service is considered joyous, not bondage. This same service can be directed toward pagan deities as well. When used in reference to serving another man, abad transforms into the noun ebed meaning “slave or servant.” As discussed below and as pointed out by the TWOT, the concept of Hebrew slavery isn’t akin to the modern concept of slavery where the slave possesses no basic human rights. This was not the case in ancient Israel. The Hebrew slave, on the other hand, occupied a position of status and involving rights and trust. The Torah assured this as this and other Torah passages demonstrate.

Leviticus 25:45, You may buy. This passage advocates slavery among the Israelites. Yet, this is not the slavery the American Negroes experienced prior to the Civil War. It must be remembered that slavery was rife in the ancient world. Often slaves, however, were able to own homes and livestock and to maintain families as was the case with the Israelites in Egypt and the Jews in Babylon. In this case, these slaves were more like servants or feudal serfs. For example, in Israel, the Gibeonites became the slaves of Israel, but they continued to dwell in their own cities, and enjoy Israel’s military protection (Josh 9). Also, it Continue reading