Blog Scripture Readings for 11-23 through 11-29-14

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Vayetzei — Genesis 28:10 – 32:3(2)*
Haftarah — Hosea 12:13(12) – 14:10(9)*
Prophets — Judges 18:1 – 21:25; 1 Samuel 1:1 – 3:21
Writings — Psalms 48:1 – 55:23
Testimony — Matthew 28:1-20; Mark 1:1 – 4:19

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.

* Verse numbers in parenthesis refer to the verse number in Christian Bibles when it differs from the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 11/23 through 11/29/14.

 

YHVH’s Original Twelve-Step Program

Genesis 29:32–35:18, The birth of the Jacob’s twelve sons and the meaning of their names. The Scriptures record that the gospel message was preached not only to the first century believers, but to ancient Israel (Heb 4:2), and to the Patriarchs (Gal 3:8) as well. Here is another example of this in the meanings of the names of the twelve sons of Jacob. His twelve sons were Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin (who was not born until Gen 35:18). The meanings of their names and the statements the Bible attaches to those meanings reveal YHVH’s glorious plan of salvation for mankind. The Scriptures call this message the good news or gospel.

12 twelve number laurel wreath

  • Reuben, Jacob’s first son, means “see or behold a son.” At the birth of her first son, Leah proclaimed “surely YHVH has looked upon my affliction” (Gen 29:32). The gospel message here is that YHVH Elohim saw the affliction of sinful man and gave us Yeshua, his Son.
  • Simeon means “hearing.” Leah named her second son thusly because “YHVH has heard that I was unloved” and she was hoping to receive her husband’s affection (Gen 29:33). The gospel message in this is that as a sinner, one comes to Yeshua in a lost and unloved state and separated from Elohim, and that when one hears about the Son (Yeshua the Messiah) in the gospel message, it’s at this point they receive the Father’s love.
  • Levi means “joined.” Leah named her next son this in the hopes that “now this time will my husband be joined to me” (Gen 29:34). With regard to the gospel, this can infer the union between redeemed believers and the Father and Son that occurs upon one’s salvation. The good news message is the reconciliation and union of man and Elohim through the atoning death of Yeshua and by the work of the Holy Spirit in a person’s life who helps us to conform our lives to the Word of Elohim.
  • Judah means “praise” or “now I will praise YHVH” (Gen 29:35). This is the response of the redeemed believer upon being joined to Yeshua as one is spiritually regenerated.
  • Dan means “judgment.” Rachel named Bilhah’s son Dan and exclaimed “Elohim has judged my case” (Gen 30:6). The gospel message is that when a new believer receives salvation from sin’s death penalty through Yeshua’s atoning blood, the Just Judges of the Universe’s sentence against sin has been lifted from them.
  • Naphtali means “wrestling,” upon his birth, Rachel proclaimed, “With great wrestlings have I wrestled” (Gen 30:8). This prophetically speaks of the believer’s life as he struggles against the world, flesh and the devil endeavoring to walk in a righteous and sin-free relationship with Elohim.
  • Gad means “troop or company.” At his birth, Leah exclaimed, “A troop comes” (Gen 30:11). This prophetically foretells the fellowship of believers as sons and daughters in the spiritual family of Elohim.
  • Asher means “happy,” for when he was born, Leah declared “I am happy and I will be called blessed.” (Gen 30:13). True inner happiness come to the redeemed believer who is now walking in right relationship with Elohim and in fellowship with other believers while together they pursue the hope of eternal life and inclusion in the kingdom of Elohim.
  • Issachar means “hire.” At his birth, Leah declared, “Elohim has given me my wages” (Gen 30:18). Once one is a part of the spiritual body of believers, one is equipped for works of service in advancing the kingdom of Elohim as a bondservant with the ultimate reward for a lifetime of service being eternal life and inclusion in the family of Elohim.
  • Zebulun means “dwelling, exalt and honor.” Upon the birth of her sixth son, Leah triumphantly proclaimed, “Elohim has endowed me with a good gift, and now my husband will dwell with me” (Gen 30:20). This speaks prophetically of the gift of eternal life YHVH has for those who faithfully serve him and the honor and exalted status they will have as the bride of King Yeshua the Messiah and as kings and priest in his eternal kingdom.
  • Joseph means “adding.When he was born, Rachel declared, “Elohim has taken away my reproach and YHVH shall add to me another son” (Gen 30:24). This can again be a prophetic reference to the expansion of Elohim’s spiritual family comprised of individuals who have been redeemed from the consequences and penalty of sin and who have become YHVH’s spiritual sons and daughters. This spiritual family will have its highest and fullest manifestation in the New Jerusalem heaven on earth.
  • Benjamin, which means “son of my right hand,” was born in Bethlehem (or Ephrath, Gen 35:18). This is a clear prophetic reference to Yeshua who sits at the right hand of YHVH, and to believers who are seated with Yeshua in heavenly places by faith (Eph 2:6). To be united with Yeshua in an eternal spiritual relationship ruling and reigning with him over his kingdom is the ultimate reward of the saints.

The gospel message in the names of the twelve tribes starts with Yeshua and ends with him, for he is the Aleph and the Tav (or the Alpha and Omega), the Beginning and the End, the Author and Finisher of our faith! Let’s give him the glory! Please pause and reflect on the higher spiritual message in these names. Selah.

Is it possible that the mind of man could have cleverly devised the meanings of these names and in the proper order, so they prophetically proclaim the gospel message about 1800 years before the birth of Yeshua? If this doesn’t loudly attest to the hand of Elohim at work in the writing of the Scriptures, then what does? If this doesn’t strengthen our faith, then what will?

In your own spiritual walk, where are you in this twelve-step prophetic scenario? In your spiritual walk have you passed through the reality of each of the twelve steps represented by the names of the twelve tribes of Israel? Perhaps this is the world’s original “twelve-step program”!

When the meanings Scriptures attaches to the names of the twelve tribes are combined, the following (gospel) message is proclaimed:

Behold or see the son. Surely YHVH has looked upon my affliction. YHVH has heard that I was unloved. My husband will be joined to me. I will praise YHVH. Elohim has judged my case. With great wrestlings have I wrestled. A troop comes. I am happy and I will be called blessed. Elohim has given me my wages. Elohim has endowed me with a good gift, now my husband will dwell with me. Elohim has taken away my reproach and he shall add to me another son who will be son of his right hand.

Is this your life story and spiritual testimony?

 

Thank you!

I’m very grateful to all of you who read this blog, and especially to those who take time to contribute with your encouraging, provocative and insightful comments. Thank you so much!

Keep studying, feeding on and obeying the Word of Elohim. The Word of Elohim is the only hope for this world. Although your efforts in this respect may not find their full fruitfulness in this life, your investment will pay off under the reign of King Yeshua when in his millennial kingdom, as his kings and priests, we will have a whole world of physical people that will need to be taught the higher ways of life and truth.

Love and blessings to all of you through Yeshua our Messiah and our Father in heaven to whom all glory and honor belong forever and ever. Amein!

IMG_0851

 

Boot Camp and Battle in Store for Yeshua’s True Disciples

Mark 1–3

It is interesting to note the order of events as Yeshua was launching his ministry. He was about to enter a war zone! After John baptized Yeshua and he received his heavenly empowerment, he first went through a spiritual boot camp before stepping onto the battlefield of public ministry. Once in the “war,” it’s worth noting where the battle lines fell.

Оружие

  • Yeshua’s spiritual boot camp was the wilderness where he fasted for forty days and nights to get his body, soul and spirit, and his mind, will and emotions in sync with the will of his Father in heaven (Mark 1:12–15).
  • His first battle was an internal one. The devil tested him in three areas: his body, soul and spirit, or, to put it another way, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life (Mark 1:13). After overcoming himself and submitting to the will of his Father, he was now ready to launch into the war zone of public ministry.
  • His mission was to preach the message of the gospel of the kingdom of Elohim and repentance from sin (i.e. Torahlessness, 1 John 3:4; Mark 1:14–15).
  • Next he chose his cadre of spiritual warriors — his “army”— the twelve disciples (Mark 1:16–20).
  • Where better to start proclaiming the gospel message than in the local synagogue on the Sabbath (Mark 1:21)? After all, the religious folks there should be overjoyed to hear this good news, fresh message from heaven. Right?
  • His first recorded act, other than preaching, was to cast an unclean spirit out of someone Continue reading
 

Where is retirement mentioned in the Bible?

Show me in the Bible where the word retirement or the concept is even mentioned? You can’t. But I can show you where the Almighty commands us to work six days each week and to rest on the seventh day (the Sabbath or Shabbat, Exod 20:8–11). I can also show you where, because of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, the Creator told us the free lunch ended and we had to get to work (Gen 3:17–19).

Only in our overindulgent, materialistic and wealthy western society is retirement an option.

For many who are lacking in a spiritual faith and who have no concept of biblical truth, retirement has become their “heaven on earth.” Retirement is the humanists’ heaven.

Admittedly, as one becomes elderly, the body doesn’t function as it once did. But that doesn’t mean one has to resort to a life of non-productive inactivity. In ancient Israel, when the Levites reached the age of fifty, they presumably took on more of an advisory role in helping to train the next generation of Levites (Num 8:25). This rule didn’t, however, apply to those in the priesthood who served until death. The kings and prophets and prophets of Israel served until their death as well. Moses didn’t retire. Neither did Joshua, David or the the apostles. They all died with their boots on.

I’d rather burn out than rust out!

Moreover, elders (wise and older people) were to serve as leaders of the congregational assembly in the New Testament era. They were  busy during their so-called retirement years.

These things being the case, why is it that so many Bible followers and even supposedly Torah-obedient individuals don’t work six days a week, and stop working at what our humanistic society calls “retirement age”? Why do so many woman support their husbands, who proudly laud their new status as “house husbands”? Why are there so many men on welfare feigning a disability, so they can collect a check from the government, when, for many of them, there is something they could do to help support their families, but instead, they proudly live off the labors of others? In reality they’re lazy thieves! This is hardly a godly virtue.

Even those who have worked hard and have the financial resources to “retire” at a certain age, is it biblical to resort to a life of laziness and self-indulgent ease? Hardly! They should be using their resources including their time, knowledge and wisdom to help others — especially the younger generation. Kudos to those who are doing so. Shame on those who aren’t!

Sadly, we have become a society of lazy bums all too often living off of others. Is this something to be proud of? If this is our lifestyle, do we really think we will hear YHVH’s words on the day of judgment, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant”?

Lazyiness 33393799

 

Are you really a Sabbath keeper?

In your mind, what is a Sabbath keeper? Most people would say that it’s one who rests on the seventh day (or Saturday) as YHVH in the Bible commands his servants to do, and as Yeshua and the apostles all did.

This answer is correct, but only half correct.

2112472

As you know, the first biblical example of Sabbath observance is in Genesis 2 when Elohim rested on the Sabbath or seventh day. The next reference is in the ten commandments in Exodus 20. But what else do these two scriptures have in common? In Genesis 2, Elohim rested after having worked for six days. In Exodus 20, the other half of the Sabbath command is to work for six days (Gen 20:6). A lot of people miss that command. Working for six days is just as much a command as resting on the seventh day!

For those of us living an affluent western lifestyle, many don’t have to work for six days. They may only have to work three or four days, if that. Some are retired. Some are living on government disabilities or on welfare and are hardly working, if at all. Some men have become “house husbands” as their wives slave away at jobs supporting them.

But in YHVH’s command  to work for six days, he doesn’t list any exceptions (of course, this obviously wouldn’t include the very elderly and those who are severely physically crippled or handicapped or to young children). This being the case, why do I see so many men who are not working, who are sitting around loafing, playing games, goofing off and wasting their time? Many claim to be followers of Yeshua. Some even claim to be Sabbath keepers. Some even have their wives supporting them financially, while they loaf around. I see it all the time. When you talk to them, they’ll say, I’m retired (at age 55 or 64???), or I’m disabled (see the disabled tag hanging on my car mirror?). Some are legitimately “disabled” (whatever that’s suppose to mean). Others claim to be incapacitated from doing one type of task, but maybe they could rehabilitate and reeducate and learn to do another kind of work instead? There’s a novel idea.

What about those who use retirement as an excuse to be a lazy loafer? Where is retirement mentioned in the Bible? Did Moses retire? Joshua, David, the prophets and apostles? Or did they keep working until they died? They all died “with their boots on!”

When I say “work”, I’m not necessarily talking about an eight hour a day paying job. One can still be working in unconventional ways. This can involve volunteering, ministering, serving others in some way, or teaching others what you know of those six days. You may or may not get paid for it, but it’s still work if your actively attempting to leave the world a better place than you found it.

I would rather be one who burns out than one who rusts out.

Yeshua told us to occupy until he comes (Luke 19:13). The word occupy means “to be occupied in anything, or to carry on a business.” Too many people are occupying the coach. Sorry guys, but this doesn’t count!

Are you burying in the earth the talents and resources YHVH has given you, or are you using them to help advance his kingdom? Hopefully the latter.

Will you hear the words of your Creator on the day of judgment, “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy YHVH.” Or will say to him, “Don’t you know Lord, I was disabled, retired or I had one those disabled thingies hanging on my car mirror, which exempted me from following your command to work six days. Sorry Lord.”

So are you really a Sabbath keeper?