Blog Scripture Readings for 6-28 Through 7-4-15

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Balak — Numbers 22:2 – 25:9 
Haftarah — Micah 5:6 – 6:8
Prophets — Ezekiel 7:1 – 15:8
Writings —Daniel 7:1 – 12:13
Testimony — 1 Corinthians 14:1 – 16:24;  2 Corinthians 1

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 6/28 through 7/4/15.

 

Beware of Modern-Day Balaams!

Balaam — A Subverter of Divine Gifts and a Prophet of Babylon

The name Balaam means “destruction of people.” The Hebrew word bela means “destruction, confuse, confound.” The Hebrew word am means people, tribe, nation. The name Balak means “waster, to annihilate.” He was king of Moab; distant cousins to Israel through Lot, Abraham’s nephew.

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Balaam was from Pethor, a city located on the Northern Euphrates and Tigress Rivers areas called Mesopotamia in modern Syria and including modern Iraq to the south.

Balaam was a soothsayer or diviner (one who foretells or predicts events, Josh 13:22). The ArtScroll Stone Edition Chumash says that Balaam was a sorcerer, necromancer or wizard (one who consults evil spirits) and that the sublime prophecies he uttered over Israel were but temporary aberrations that YHVH granted him for the honor of Israel (Ibid., p. 863). These prophecies also served to glorify YHVH in the eyes of the nations. Other commentators consider Balaam to have been a true prophet of YHVH gone bad. Some consider him to have been a bad prophet going good (i.e. learning obedience to YHVH). Some consider him to have been a false prophet seeking personal fame and fortune who had prophetic abilities that he misused by mixing paganism and the truth of YHVH. This seems to be the Scriptures’ view of Balaam, for 2 Peter 2:15 indicates that Balaam had some knowledge of the truth, but turned away from it loving instead the “wages of unrighteousness.” In the book of Revelation, we learn that Continue reading

 

A Star Is Born!

Numbers 24:17, A Star out of Jacob. To what notable, kingly biblical figure is this prophecy referring? (See Matt 2:2; Rev 22:16 cp. Ps 2:1–12; Rev 17:14; 19:16. See also Rev 2:27; 12:5; 19:15.) This prophecy can have a double meaning in that it also pointed to King David who smote the Moabites and took possession of Mount Seir, the land of the Edom (vv. 17–18 cp. 2 Sam 8:2,14).

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However, both Christian and Jewish scholars have recognized the Messianic implications of this verse. For example, Akiva Ben Yosef, the rabbinic Jewish leader of the second century, applied this verse to Simon Bar Kosiba (whose name he changed to Kokhba meaning “son of the star” after the Star Prophecy of Num 24:17) who presumed to be the Messiah when he unsuccessfully attempted to defeat the Romans in the Second Jewish revolt.

Additionally, Adam Clarke notes in his commentary on this verse that Moses Ben Maimon (or Maimonidies), the Medieval Jewish Torah scholar applied this verse to the future Messiah as do the Onkelos Targum and Jerusalem Targum (the ancient Jewish Aramaic translations of the Tankah). Rashi (the medieval JewishTorah scholar) and Sforno (the renaissance Jewish Torah scholar) in their Torah commentaries note the Messianic implications of the star of Balaam’s prophecy as well (Sforno Commentary on the Torah, ArtScroll Mesorah Series).

One thing is certain, only Yeshua the Messiah can make the claim to having fulfilled this biblical prophecy!

 

The Spirit of Elohim Can Be ON But In a Person

Numbers 24:2, The Spirit of Elohim came upon him. We see from the Scriptures that the Spirit of YHVH can come on just about anyone, but this doesn’t mean that the Spirit dwells in them, leads them, or that such a person has a heart to love, serve and obey Elohim.

For example, the Spirit of Elohim came upon King Saul who prophesied (see 1 Sam 10:9–11; 19:20–24), but Saul didn’t serve YHVH with his whole heart and eventually became a murderous, apostate occultist.

Not only does the Bible warn us to beware of prophets who prophecy falsely (e.g. Deut 13:1–5; Jer 23:9–40; Ezek 13:2; 22:24; Isa 28:7; Matt 24:4–5; 2 Pet 2:1–3), but to beware false prophets or unrighteous individuals who YHVH may use to prophecy correctly—not because they are filled with the Spirit of Elohim, but simply because the Spirit of Elohim temporarily comes upon them to accomplish YHVH’s purposes.

 

Who is the liar? Elohim or the mainstream church?

Numbers 23:19, El is not a man that he should lie. Read the rest of this verse, which speaks about the immutable character of Elohim. (Also see Mal 3:6; Heb 13:8.) From the beginning in the Garden of Eden (thanks to the lies of Satan the serpent, see Gen 3:1–4), man has been under the spiritual delusion that Elohim changes his word, laws or commandments and that he doesn’t really mean what he says. That is to say, when YHVH gives a command, later on he may change his mind and his commands are no longer applicable to subsequent generations or people-groups.

Liar

Down through the ages, church leaders have bought in to this lie of the enemy with regard to validity of the Torah as pertaining to the life of the redeemed believer. But by saying that the Torah is “done away with,” “has been nailed to the cross” “has been fulfilled in Jesus” meaning “he did it for us so that we don’t have to do it,” isn’t this really calling Elohim a liar?

Consider the numerous places throughout the Bible, the Word of Elohim, where the Torah is revealed as YHVH’s unalterable standard of righteousness for all time and for all people everywhere. (In this regard, read the following scriptures: Ps 119:44, 142, 144, 160, 172; Matt 4:4; 5:18–19; Rom 3:31; 7:12.)

 

Wash your mind out with these beautiful photos…

I took these photos a few days ago while backpacking in the backcountry of the Central Oregon High Cascade Mountains with my youngest son. After posting a number of things about subjects I wish I didn’t have to deal with, I want to give my readers a breath of fresh mountain air and a drink from water that’s so pure that you can drink it directly from streams and lakes without any kind of filtration.

By the way, I’ve climbed Broken Top and all three of the Three Sisters to the top — years ago when I was much younger. My dad and I climbed some of the mountains, and on some of the other mountains my mom and sister were with us. I’m a third generation mountain climber of glaciated peaks. My grandfather was a professional mountain climbing guide starting about 100 years ago. I don’t climb to many mountains anymore, but I still climb a lot of trees (professionally) with ropes and other climbing gear.

Enjoy!

Jared with his 50 pound pack on our trip in.

Jared with his 50 pound pack on our trip in on Friday.

Our trip in over some rough terrain. We're at about 7,500 foot elevator.

Our trip in over some rough terrain. We’re at about 7,500 foot elevation.

 

The mountain on the left is Broken Top. The three in the back are the Three Sisters. Broken Top is over 9,000 tall, and the Three Sisters are all more than 10,000 feet tall. Our final destination was past the middle of the picture several miles cross country past all the snowy areas. No trails.

The mountain on the left is Broken Top. The three in the back are the Three Sisters. Broken Top is over 9,000 tall, and the Three Sisters are all more than 10,000 feet tall. Our final destination was past the middle of the picture several miles cross country past all the snowy areas. No trails.

This is an amazing photo. It's one of the few places in Oregon where I've been able to see all nine of Oregon's major mountain peaks and even Washington State's Mount Adams in the extreme right of the photo. These mountains range in height from 8,000 to more than 12,000 feet tall.

This is an amazing photo. It’s one of the few places in Oregon where I’ve been able to see all nine of Oregon’s major mountain peaks and even Washington State’s Mount Adams in the extreme right of the photo. These mountains range in height from 8,000 to more than 12,000 feet tall.

We had to cross quite a few snowfields to get to our lake.

We had to cross quite a few snowfields to get to our lake.

Here's our destination. The lake is so small that it was barely visible on our topog map and it had no name. We were at more than 7,100 feet in elevation.

Here’s our destination. The lake is so small that it was barely visible on our topog map and it had no name. We were at more than 7,100 feet in elevation.

 

 

 

 

Here's another shot of our no-name lake at the base of Broken Top mountain.

Here’s another shot of our no-name lake at the base of Broken Top mountain.

 

 

 

Jared in front of our tent.

Jared in front of our tent.

The awesome view from our camp kitchen.

The awesome view from our camp kitchen.

A close up view of our kitchen.

A close up view of our kitchen.

 

Our fridge — in a snow bank.

Our fridge — in a snow bank.

Our source of drinking water. Straight from the lake. No filtration or purification needed!

Our source of drinking water. Straight from the lake. No filtration or purification needed!

 

We also got water from this spot where water bubble right our of the rocks.

We also got water from this spot where water bubbled right out from the rocks.

 

Alpenglow on Broken Top at sunset at the end of the Sabbath.

Alpenglow on Broken Top at sunset at the end of the Sabbath.

 

Fabulous sunset on Shabbat evening over the Three Sisters. What a grand finale. The next day (Sunday), we headed home to Babylon.

Fabulous sunset on Shabbat evening over the Three Sisters. What a grand finale. The next day (Sunday), we headed home to Babylon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eight Year-Old “Gay” Boy??? This is child abuse!

8-year-old Desmond Napoles of Brooklyn, N.Y., dances in they New York City Pride March on Sunday, June 28, 2015.

A New York mother is at the center of an online firestorm after letting her 8-year-old son dress up and dance in the city’s Pride March on Sunday.

Young Desmond Napoles, of Brooklyn, stole the show, according to some parade watchers, as he strutted his way down Fifth Avenue in a rainbow-colored tutu and gold sequined cap.

Photos of the boy have appeared on social media, prompting scorching comments against his mother, Wendylou Napoles, for allowing little “Desi” to participate in the event.

Some of the criticism includes:

  • “Does he even know or have any idea what and why he is doing this? Are all you people encouraging and cheering for this suggesting and promoting the sexualization young kids?” (Kevin Lam)
  • “Disgusting abomination. His parents have no morals. You need to REPENT. And live for YHVH-YASHUAH (GOD-JESUS) instead of Satan. You and Satan may of won a battle BUT you have already lost the war!” (Shannon Fraccola)
  • “And this mother will wonder why later in life her kid will end up in psychotherapy gender confused. This little kid doesn’t even understand the world around him yet we’re to believe that he understands the dynamics of sexuality? Um, I don’t think so sister. But hey, enjoy the eventual sh-tstorm you’re letting build.” (Tracey Hoober)
  • “This is why Facebook needs a Dislike button.” (Christopher Bechtloff)

Now, the boy’s mother is firing back on the Facebook page of LGBT website NewNowNext.

“If you are offended, don’t look,” Wendylou Napoles said. “I am sickened by the comments that say I am sexualizing him.”

Wendylou asked other parents to put themselves in her shoes in raising a “child like this.”

“Should I encourage him to express who he feels that he is and to be himself knowing that this road will be a hard and cruel one in today’s society? Or, should I discourage him and tell him that he cannot be himself knowing that he will carry a great deal of grief and baggage about this throughout his life and may even grow to believe that there is something wrong with himself? It’s not easy.”

She got into specific detail in her defense, stating:

He has always been very gender fluid when it came to toys and his development. He preferred fashion dolls to action figures. I looked at both in the store and figured that the action figure was as much a doll as a Barbie, so if he wanted the one marketed to girls, that was fine with me. He also likes to play with trains, especially wooden subway trains. He never wanted to play sports and likes to draw pictures and do word searches. He goes to ballet class and loves to dance. He loves drag queens and thinks that it is fantastic that boys can play dress up and become beautiful girls, even after they grow up. He, himself, likes to play dress up in skirts and dresses, but most days he looks like any other “boy.” He is a shy boy who is self-conscious about his missing teeth when he smiles and very intelligent. He doesn’t like school because he gets bullied, but he does well academically. We do our best to stop the bullying and involve the LGBT services at his school. We keep him involved in the LGBT community because we believe that by speaking to other people who were like him when they were his age reinforces that he is of value and that his life as he wants to live it is okay.

This boy was always very feminine from day one and instead of denying it or condemning it, we embraced it. We did not need to encourage it, it was always there. He just needed the love and reassurance that he has a place in this world, as does any child. The development into the sparkle loving, happy, tutu-wearing boy in this photo was very natural and gradual and age appropriate. We spoke with doctors and therapists. Not because there was anything wrong with him, but because we wanted to understand and learn and do the right things for our child. We did not force him to be this way. We did not expose him to sexuality in the way some people project. He is 8 years old and is starting to get crushes on boys. That is pretty much the extent of what he knows about sexuality. I do my job as a parent and censor things in his life that may not be appropriate. I am not perverted and letting this boy dress up how he feels he wants to dress up is not perverted. It hurts no one. If you are offended, don’t look.

He is old enough and smart enough to know he would be marching in the Pride parade in front of thousands of people and did all of it willingly. In fact, I thought he would stop after 10 blocks of walking, but he felt so good about being dressed up and being who he is that he vogued and danced the entire two miles. We collaborated on the outfit and this is how he wanted to look today. This was his Pride today. He felt it. He loved it. He was it. These children will be our future. Embrace who they are. All they are asking for is the same love, respect, and acceptance of themselves as any child would.

On the Yahoo Parenting site, senior writer Beth Greenfield marveled at how Wendylou took on her critics and “shut them down with grace and pride.”

Desmond’s mother also received plenty of support from the public, including:

  • “You are a fantastic mum and he is gorgeous. I’m so excited for you, he already has an amazing outlook and sounds super creative and intelligent. The possibilities are endless! Yay! #LoveWins” (Dan De La Bastide)
  • “What a beautiful way to celebrate the beginning of a new History. This child is gorgeous and courageous heart emoticon.” (Elle Russell)
  • “I applaud his parents for nurturing a child who dances to his own drum. There is NOTHING wrong with his costume, especially at this venue. Being a child, his ideas of who he is and wants to be are fluid. I wish I had the opportunity to be this open when I was a kid! BRAVO to him and his parents.” (Wayne Steinman)

On Wendylou Napoles’ remark that “These children will be our future,” talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh noted Wednesday, “That’s why we’re worried.”

Natan’s response:

Isaiah the prophet declared long ago,

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! Woe unto them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight! (Isa 5:20–21)

These are the times in which we are living.

Sadly, there are parents out there who are viewing their children through their own lenses of moral degradation and perversity, and then raising their children to fit their paradigms of godlessness and immorality. When parents throw off moral restraints, lose their moral compass, turn away from the basic transcendent and immutable spiritual values as revealed in the Bible — the Word of Elohim — and spurn moral and spiritual boundaries, and refuse to accept the fences that the Creator has put in place to protect us from the evil that lurks beyond, we end up in places like the mother of eight-year-old Desmond Napoles, sadly.

Desmond may be a different sort of a boy than the average. He may be less masculine than typical boys. He may be more refined and sensitive than most. He may like ballet and be more nurturing than typical boys. He may show more what some might consider to be even feminine traits. This is not a sin. In fact, this can be a wonderful attributes for a man to have especially in, for example, health care professions. But this doesn’t make him a homosexual! His mother seems to be encouraging him in the directions of what the Bible calls an abominable sin. Shame on her for this!

There are special places in the world for such boys as Desmond, even as there are special places in the world for “tomboy” girls. But this doesn’t mean that they they have to become “gays” or lesbians. When this occurs, this is a result of parental and societal indoctrination or brainwashing pushing these children past the boundaries of what is morally right and wrong and then imposing on them their own perverse mores. There is nothing glorious or laudable about this! In fact, this is a form of child abuse. Furthermore, it’s shameful when children are sacrificed on the altars their parents have created in honor of the demon-idols of abominable sins like homosexuality. Children aren’t born homosexual as the godless humanists and moral relativists would have us believe. If so, then the Creator is the author of sin, and this cannot be!

If we have a special child in our life like Desmond, let’s lovingly guide him or her in righteous paths within the moral and spiritual boundaries YHVH has established for our own good and for the survival of the human race. Let’s help him or her discover and righteously express his or her uniqueness without crossing the boundaries that the Creator has established for humanity’s own well-being and survival.

 

 

Have you crossed over to YHVH’s side, or are you still a Balaam?

Numbers 22:10ff, Crossing over. Carnal men want to be like YHVH’s saints, to be the recipients of the blessings of Israel, and to be numbered among YHVH’s chosen, but few want to walk the walk required to receive these blessings and privileges. Many will “court YHVH” by getting as close to him as possible without actually crossing over that spiritual river that divides the land of Israel from the rest of the world. Those who cross over become an Ivrit or a Hebrew, which means “to cross over.”

Have you decided to cross over?

Have you decided to cross over?

Crossing over means surrendering one’s life totally to the Elohim of the Hebrews who is YHVH. The sacrifice of doing so is too great for most people to pay. To leave spiritual Babylon and to cross over the Jordan River to YHVH’s side and come into the land of Israel as a spiritual Hebrew means that the fame and fortune that this world has to offer must be laid aside and one must become a servant-slave of YHVH.

Balaam couldn’t cross over all the way. He still preferred the riches and fame Babylon had to offer. He was willful, carnal and greedy (Jude 11). Many people in the mainstream church are like Balaam.

How serious are you about serving YHVH? The Scriptures say of the end-times saints that they loved not their lives unto death (Rev 12:11). Paul declares that followers of Yeshua must become “living sacrifices” in service of YHVH (Rom 12:1). Yeshua gave his very life for you. Are you holding back some of your life for him? Do the cares of this world, the desire for pleasures, material goods, money, entertainments or acclaim still have a grip on your heart? Are they preventing you from moving into your spiritual calling and destiny—to truly walk by faith?