Blog Scripture Readings for 7-27 through 8-2-14

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat D’varim — Deuteronomy 1:1 – 3:22 
Haftarah — Isaiah 1:1–27
Prophets —Ezekiel 39:1 – 45:25
Writings —Nehemiah 5:1 – 11:36
Testimony — Galatians 6:1–18; Ephesians 1:1 – 5:33

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 7/27 through 8/2/14.

 

A Huge Miracle with a Warning…

Ephraim and Rimona Frank have been involved in the restoration of the whole house of Israel since 1982. Ephraim is American born, and has been in Israel since 1978, having lived on a kibbutz for 5 years, he and Rimona were married there in 1982. 

A Huge Miracle with a Warning…

by Ephraim Frank

 
    Shalom Fellow Israelite,
    The barrage of rockets falling on Israel for the past number of weeks, with relatively low collateral damage, has been eliciting responses of “ey’zeh mazal” (“how lucky”) and thankfulness to the Iron Dome interceptive system, and at times also “toda la’El” (“thank God”), though not as often as it should.

    In more recent days, when the tunnel threat has materialized into a horrifying reality (which has claimed the lives of at least 7 soldiers), an even greater miracle took place, namely that the terrorists did not use those tunnels before our army was down in that area. One cannot imagine the carnage that they would have left behind in the Israeli towns and communities along the border, had they put those tunnels into use, let alone the many that they would have captured and taken into the Gaza hell hole.  It is only by YHVH’s mercy in the midst of His judgments that this did not happen.

    Now that our soldiers are fighting the Jihadists in Gaza they are shocked to see the young children (boys and girls) who are involved in the fighting, armed with weapons, strapped with explosives, or used as human shields by gun wielding terrorists whose other hand clings to a child. Women are also used in a similar manner.

    This war with Islam is not confined to the Middle East, it is worldwide. We must ask ourselves and take stock as to the reason for this war. I have written articles in the past about the prophet Habakkuk’s warning, but the present situation and its escalation is forcing me to do so once again.

    It wasn’t but days (and for years) before the military operation started, that many in Israel were engaged in discussing the corruption, violence, greed, sexual perversion, lying, moral decline and general wickedness prevailing here, deeming it to be an existential threat, even greater than Hamas. (By the way, the above list does not include abortion, which although common, is tragically not even an issue for discussion by most.) How sad that after two thousand years of absence, being now restored by YHVH back to the land as a nation, our people find themselves in such a low moral state! We groan with the watchman of Habakkuk as the daily news brings to light the corruption in high places, businesses and elsewhere. Can this continue without some kind of consequence? I believe that the following prophecy is coming true right before our eyes.

    The Watchman cries out: “How long, YHVH, will I call for help, and You will not hear? I cry out to You, ‘there is violence in our midst!’ Yet You do not save. Why do You make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness? Yes, destruction and violence are before me; strife exists and contention arises. Therefore, the Torah is ignored and justice is never upheld. For the wicked surround the righteous; therefore, justice comes out perverted” (Habbakkuk 1:2-4, emphasis added). 

    Unfortunately this describes the condition in our country. (How about yours?)

   YHVH’s answer to the watchman needs to be taken seriously, as it is not the devil, nor Hamas, or Islam who is behind our current circumstances: “Look among the nations! Observe! Be astonished! Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days– You would not believe if you were told” (Habakkuk 1:5). YHVH has sent a deluding spirit, a lying spirit, so that the iniquitous and wicked of His people will be deceived and not see reality for what it is. Hence they are not able to discern that YHVH has raised up the hunters to judge the sinners of His people, and yet there is no outcry for repentance. Our present condition is nothing more than the fulfillment of this prophetic word.

    It is hard to bring this into the light, when our young men are being killed in Gaza, but we have to face YHVH’s righteous justice, when it comes to sin and iniquity. I have altered somewhat and paraphrased the rest of the chapter in order to get the point across. YHVH continues:

    “For indeed I am raising up the Chaldeans (who are from the spiritual heartland of Islam), a bitter, vicious and hasty, impetuous nation which marches through the breadth of the earth; they possess dwelling places that arenot theirs. They are terrible, dreadful and fearful; their judgment (justice) and their dignity (self-righteous pride) proceed from themselves… They hasten to devour. They all come for violence (hamas, being the Hebrew word used in that excerpt); their faces are set like the east wind. They gather captives like sand. They mock at leaders of the U.N., E.U. G.B and U.S. They despise these leaders of the West. They ridicule every stronghold (military power), for they heap up ruins and seize them.  Then their mind changes and they transgress; committing offenses, their strength and power are their god.”

    The watchman continues his lament: “Are You not from everlasting, YHVH my Elohim, my Holy One? Shall we not die? YHVH, You have appointed them to execute your judgments upon us; O Rock, You have marked them to correct us, Your people, both Judah and Ephraim.  Your eyes are too pure to behold our evil, and You cannot look on our wickedness. But why do You look on those who deal treacherously, and hold Your tongue when the wicked devour those that are more righteous than they? Why do You make men like fish of the sea, like creeping things that have no ruler over them? These hunters take us up with their hook, they trap us in their net, and gather us in their dragnet (a hunter’s net). Therefore they rejoice and are glad. They dance and hand out sweets in the streets when they take one of us captive or have a successful hunt. Therefore they sacrifice themselves to their god (Allah), and burn incense to their religion, because by them their share is sumptuous and their food plentiful. Shall they therefore empty their net, and continue to slay nations without pity?” 

    Notice the last statement “slay nations without pity.” These hunters are present in many nations, wielding the sword. The news media calls them “rebels”, legitimate freedom fighters attempting to establish “justice” (that is “Muslim justice”) in corrupt political regimes. They are infiltrating western nations under the disguise of a persecuted people.

   One of their banners proclaims, “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.”  

    As Judah and Ephraim, believers in the sovereignty of the Elohim of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, we must take this prophet seriously. YHVH is not tolerating wickedness and therefore the call is to repent, not unlike Daniel and Nehemiah. The prodigal son (Ephraim) is to return home, but too many are only looking for the hug from daddy, the ring, the change of clothes and the party. Many are standing in judgment of their brother Judah and think that they are more righteous and knowledgeable about the Scriptures. The hunters are already in your backyard and buying up land that can never be wrested from the hands of Islam. This is why, according to their beliefs, the Jewish State must be eliminated.It is Muslim land that has been desecrated by the unbelievers (demies). The greatest injustice to Islam was for the UN to establish this nation. Thus what Hamas and other Jihadist are doing is to right the wrong.

    Take heed, Israel will have to pull out of Gaza, just like the US did in Iraq; Islam will celebrate a victory over their enemies and begin to prepare for the next advance on their call to eliminate Israel as a nation (Psalm 83), and that includes Ephraim. YHVH’s mercies and miracles have been seen in all of our wars, including this one, but for what purpose – just to continue in sin, or is it for our nation to wake up and come to repentance?

    Shalom,

    Ephraim

    www.israelitereturn.com

PS

Listen to the music and read the lyrics [in this short video] but watch it through to the end.

Ephraim and Rimona

http://www.ynet.co.il/articles/0,7340,L-4551010,00.html  

 

Covenants of Promise: What and For Whom?

Ephesians 2:12, Covenants. The Apostle Paul makes a very interesting and often overlooked statement in Ephesians 2:12. For ­context we will quote the surrounding verses:

Wherefore remember, that you being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; that at that time ye were without Messiah, being aliens from the commonwealth [citizenship] of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without Elohim in the world: but now in Messiah Yeshua ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Messiah. (emphasis added)

Paul, talking to the redeemed believers in Ephesus, states that they had been (past tense) Gentiles (comprised of various ethnic or people groups) without Elohim and without hope, but now, through the work of Yeshua at the cross, provision had been made for these alienated people-groups to become citizens of the nation of Israel. Elsewhere Paul refers to these (former) Gentiles as now being Israelites and defines them as heirs to the promises YHVH made to Abraham and calls them “seed” or descendants of Abraham (Rom 4:15; 9:8, 11; Gal 3:7, 14, 29).

Paul further says that these same people had been aliens from YHVH’s “covenants of promise” and relates this to the “Gentile” believers at Ephesus. We know that the principles laid out in this teaching apply to all the redeemed believers down through the ages. So what covenants of promise were these redeemed believers strangers to in times past prior to their conversion? Most in the church have been taught that the New Covenant is the only covenant that pertains to them, yet Paul spoke of covenants (plural) of promise. To what was he referring? The two main covenants of the Tanakh (the Old Testament) affecting the nation of Israel were the Abrahamic Covenant and the Mosaic or Sinaitic Covenant. Additionally, Jeremiah prophetically speaks of a New (Renewed) Covenant that YHVH would make with the two houses of Israel (Jer 31:31–33); that is, a refreshed version of a former (marital) covenantal agreement which Israel broke with YHVH (verse 32). These are the three principal covenants that the Scriptures reveals affect YHVH’s people. Clearly, Paul is referencing these three covenants in Ephesians 2:12 (see the Jewish New Testament Commentary, by David Stern, p. 583).

Which of the three covenants forms the bedrock upon which the others are based, and upon which Elohim predicated his glorious plan of redemption for mankind? In Romans four, Paul references the Abrahamic Covenant in discussing the means by which one is saved. In his discussion of the Abrahamic Covenant, Paul gives us no indications that the provisions of the Abrahamic Covenant are passé or invalid as pertaining to believers in Yeshua as relating to the New Covenant. He clearly shows us that this covenant forms the basis for man’s redemption (salvation) and subsequent relationship with his Creator.

 

Meet and hear Reuven Prager of Beged Ivri from Jerusalem

This Thursday night (July 31) at 6:45 Congregation Elim (14515 SW Hall Blvd., Tigard, Oregon, 97224) will be hosting Reuven Prager founder of Beged Ivri from Jerusalem. He will be doing a show-and-tell talk about the holy half shekel, the history of the talit (prayer shawl) and the biblical tzitzits (fringes or tassels), biblical first-century garments, the biblical anointing oils, spices and more. You don’t want to miss it. Every time I hear him, I come away with new information that helps make the Bible come alive.

After the lecture, you will have an opportunity to buy things like talits, tzitzits, biblical garments, head coverings, holy half shekels, jewelry, anointing oils, authentic 2000 year-old widow’s mites and much more.

To learn more about Reuven, here’s his website: http://www.begedivri.com. HIs Facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/reuven.prager.

 

Heaven in Oregon—Photos from My Backpacking Trip

Several days ago, three of my kids and I went for our annual trek into the high alpine country of the Oregon Cascade Mountains. We backpacked into Jefferson Park, which lies at the base of Oregon’s second tallest glaciated peak. The park is at the 6000 foot level and is filled with lakes and wildflowers. The park can get more than ten feet of snow in the winter and there were still large patches of snow throughout the area. We kept our food cold in a nearby snowbank. The first night we were there, it got down to freezing. After that, it warmed up to the 70s and 80s during the day. I hope you enjoy the photos.

Mt. Jefferson and Bays Lake where we camped.

Mt. Jefferson and Bays Lake where we camped.

 

 

Our camp site.

Our camp site.

 

 

Our alpine kitchen.

Our alpine kitchen.

 

 

Jared, Kaleb and Kaelie

Jared, Kaleb and Kaelie

 

Our bath tub

Our bath tub

 

Our shower

Our shower

 

The kids looking towards eastern Oregon

The kids looking towards eastern Oregon

 

Wildflowers, Scout Lake and Mt. Jefferson

Wildflowers, Scout Lake and Mt. Jefferson

 

 

Jared communing with the Creator.

Jared communing with the Creator.

 

 

Outline and Intro to Deuteronomy

Outline of Sefer Devarim—The Book of Deuteronomy: Moses’ Farewell Address

Chapter 1:1–5, Introduction

Chapters 1:6–4:40, First Discourse
Moses gives a veiled rebuke for sin and disobedience, and gives a review of the journey from Mount Sinai to Kadesh with exhortations to obedience.

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Chapters 4:44–11, Second Discourse, Part 1
The religious foundations of the covenant, the spirit in which it is to be kept and the motives to right obedience are discussed. Moses shows how the covenant defines the relationship between YHVH and Israel and emphasizes the basic spiritual demands that such a relationship imposes upon Israel.

Chapters 12–26, Second Discourse, Part 2
The code of law dealing with:

  • Worship, Chapters 12:1–16:17
  • Government, Chapters 16:18–18
  • Criminal Law, Chapters 19:1–21:9
  • Domestic Life, Chapters 21:10–25
  • Rituals and the Sanctuary, Chapter 26

Chapters 27-30, Third Discourse

The enforcement of the Torah-law with its blessings and cursings; establishment of a fresh covenant between YHVH and Israel (i.e., the younger generation).

Chapters 31-34, The Last Days of Moses
Chapter 31, Committal of the law to the keeping of the priests.
Chapter 32, The Song of Moses (a prophecy about Israel’s future).
Chapter 33, Moses’ patriarchal blessing over the tribes of Israel.
Chapter 34, The death of Moses.

Overview of the Book of Deuteronomy/Devarim from Various Commentators
This last book of the Torah starts out with “These are the words which Moses spoke ….” The Hebrew name for Deuteronomy is Devarim meaning “words,” which is the plural form of devar meaning “word, speech, a matter or thing, a commandment, a report, a message, promise.” Note the similarity between the Hebrew word devar and the Greek word logos from John 1:1 (“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with Elohim, and the Word was Elohim.”). From this connection, we see that Yeshua was the Word of both the OT and the NT. He is the message of the entire Bible (Spirit Filled Life Bible, from the “Word Wealth” at Deut 1:1).

Deuteronomy is written similarly to the vassal-treaties formulated between captor and captive nations prior to 1000 B.C. It contains historical information, enumerates laws, and concludes with threats and promises (Hebrew Greek Key Study Bible, from the Continue reading