Blog Scripture Readings for 10-19 Through 10-25-14

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Noach — Genesis 6:9 – 11:32
Haftarah — Numbers 28:9-15; Isaiah 66:1-24 **
Prophets — Joshua 8:1 – 14:15
Writings — Psalms 11:1 – 18:24
Testimony — Matthew 7:1 – 11:30

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.

**A different haftarah is read on “Special” Sabbaths in Jewish tradition. This sabbath’s haftarah readings is for when Rosh Chodesh coincides with the Sabbath. The standard haftarah that would be read is Isaiah 54:1–55:5.

Weekly Blog Scripture Readings for 10/19 through 10/25/14.

 

Idaho Pastors Face Jail, Thousands in Fines for Refusing to Officiate Gay Weddings

Idaho Pastors Face Jail, Thousands in Fines for Refusing to Officiate Gay Weddings

Amanda Casanova | Religion Today Contributing Writer | Monday, October 20, 2014
Two Christian pastors in Idaho have filed a lawsuit and asked the courts to temporarily restrain city officials from making them perform same-sex wedding ceremonies. Donald Knapp and wife, Evelyn, operate Hitching Post Wedding Chapel and have been required by city officials to perform same-sex marriages or else be jailed or fined.
The Christian Post reports that Knapp’s penalty could be up to 180 days in jail and fines up to $1,000 per day that they refuse to officiate the weddings. After one week, that would amount to three years in prison and $7,000 in fines.
The city of Coeur d’Alene says its non-discrimination ordinance requires the couple to perform the wedding ceremonies.
“The government should not force ordained ministers to act contrary to their faith under threat of jail time and criminal fines,” ADF Senior Legal Counsel Jeremy Tedesco said in a statement.
“Many have denied that pastors would ever be forced to perform ceremonies that are completely at odds with their faith, but that’s what is happening here — and it’s happened this quickly,” Tedesco added. “The city is on seriously flawed legal ground, and our lawsuit intends to ensure that this couple’s freedom to adhere to their own faith as pastors is protected just as the First Amendment intended.”
My response to this?
Stop doing drive-by weddings for money! In our congregation, I have stringent requirements  for anyone that I will marry. Marriage is an institution ordained of YHVH, and we want it to be built on a solid spiritual foundation, so that it will last. We don’t want to be a contributor to the epidemic of divorce statistics.
These are my requirements: You must be in our congregation for one year and attend every Shabbat service and all the feast days. You must go through an entire Torah cycle with us. You must be born again spiritually (including repenting of sin, which is Torahlessness, which includes the sin of homosexuality) with Yeshua as your Savior and Master. You must undergo three months of marriage counseling from a qualified Bible-believing marriage counselor. Boom. That’s it. After that, we’ll perform a nice Hebraic wedding for you with our congregational blessing on it.
Needless to say, I perform very few weddings. 
My word to the folks in Idaho who’ve turned marrying people into a business is the same message I have for pastors who’ve turned running a church into business: Stop your unbiblical, hireling and money-grubbing ways. Repent of your sin!
YHVH is using the State to judge the church for its ungodly ways.
 

Wish You Were There! Sukkot NW 2014

How can I succinctly and honestly describe Sukkot NW on the Rogue River near Grants Pass, Oregon without resorting to sugary religious hyperbole, cliches and exaggerations that border on bearing false witness? Let me try.

The setting of the gently rolling slopes of the Griffen Park Campground nestled among the oak, ponderosa pine and Douglas fir trees leading down to a large grassy meadow along the sand and river rock-covered beach interspersed with clumps of willow trees along the banks of the still waters and mirror-like Rogue River set the tone for this year’s Sukkot. It was peaceful and sweet. When you think rogue, you think rough and fiendish, and when you think Rogue River, turbulence and choppy, if not dangerous waters comes to mind. That wasn’t the case here.

In a world increasingly full of turmoil and danger, YHVH chose to set his people down in a campground where the waters of the Rogue River were glassy smooth, though still moving rapidly on their way to the sea. It was as if he was telling us that if we just trust him during the troubled times of the last days, he will lead us to the place of shalom and still waters although the world may be falling apart all around us. This is what we experienced when for eight days during the Feast of Tabernacles we left the Babylon of this world to meet with him where he chose to place his name.

He chose this campground — we didn’t. We intended to rendezvous at another campground down river, but when the wells ran dry there due to a severe regional drought, we were forced at the last minute to relocate to Griffen Park where the drinking water was sweet, pure and plentiful. It’s again as if he was telling us that even in the desert wilderness where the physical and spiritual waters will run dry elsewhere, he will move his people to a place of abundant provision if they will but trust and follow him.

For all of the eight days except the very beginning and end, YHVH’s people had the entire campground to themselves. Before each meeting at the nearby picnic shelter, the sound of the shofar radiated out calling the Israel of Elohim to gather before the Creator to sing his praises, to worship him, and to hear his word expounded by Spirit-led teachers. Thanks to modern technology, the praise and worship music as well as the instructive messages of the Spirit-led teachers was amplified and could literally be heard throughout the entire campground. In my 48 Sukkots, this was the first time that I had experienced anything quite like this. It was a Hebrew encampment with few if any outsiders — a true and unmitigated foretaste of YHVH’s kingdom on earth of which the Feast of Tabernacles is to be a prophetic picture — a time when the glory of YHVH will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea, and when the Torah-Word of Elohim will go forth over the whole earth from the epicenter of Jerusalem.

Representatives from all three American West Coast states (Washington, Oregon and California) were present to celebrate the feast. One couple came all the way from northern Washington just below the Canadian border and another couple migrated north from southern California to be with us. The rest of us came from various points in between. The folks ranged in age from newborn sucklings to some elders in their mid-70s. It was a constant source of joy to see the youngsters (both teens and preteens) running, playing ball and capture the flag and other games on the grassy meadow overlooking the river.

At night, numerous campfires were lit at various camp sites, and one could walk around the campground and visit folks talking and laughing at the different camps. On several occasions, we had a community campfire and sukkah party. The highlight our annual erev-Shabbat kosher shared-dish meal on picnic tables under the stars was we welcomed in the Shabbat with music, the barachah, liturgy and other festivities.

Mid-week, the warm summer-like temperatures and bright blue sky gave way to some serious rain for a parts of a couple of days. These Israelites rose to the challenge without murmuring and helped each other to baton down the hatches of their tents and all survived heaven’s outpouring warm and dry. Several folks in travel trailers extended their right hand of fellowship by exhibiting the gift of hospitality and sharing their spare beds with those who weren’t accustomed to the rigors of camping in tents. Pretty soon the rain showers cleared out, and by the end of the week we were back to sun and clear skies. We were blessed to be able to put our tents and sukkahs away dry!

Four teaching elders from all three states presented 13 Bible-based messages encouraging YHVH’s people to embrace their Torah heritage as the redeemed Israelite people of YHVH Elohim and to go deeper and higher in their spiritual walk following Yeshua the Messiah. Some of the messages were presented in gentle and quiet tones, while others were spicy and provocative. Several messages were interactive with participation from the congregation.

For several people, this was their first Feast of Tabernacles. For others, this is something they have been doing for years or even decades. For many people, Sukkot is the high point of the year, and they make plans for it all year long. Several folks expressed that they couldn’t wait to get home and tell their friends about it, so they can bring them to the Feast of Tabernacles next year. Several spiritual leaders expressed that this year’s Sukkot encouraged them to go home and become more proactive about reaching out to those around them by establishing local fellowships.

There are probably some things I’m forgetting to mention about this year’s Sukkot in southern Oregon on the Rogue River, but these are the words YHVH’s Spirit as given me to say thus far, and so I will stop for now.

I took a lot of video footage of this year’s Sukkot highlights and will be putting together a montage of those highlights once I get it all edited. So stay tuned  for that.

By the way, several of us went fishing for steelhead in the river flowing next to the camp and caught some nice fish, which we cooked over a wood fire and shared with others.  Below is a picture of my youngest daughter Kaeli and myself. She caught the largest fish — a 19 inch steelhead trout. Mine was only 17 inches —and I’m not the least disappointed with that! Kaili also caught a couple  of 12 inch rainbow trouts. Go Kaeli!

A bunch of us went to the Oregon Caves National Monument. Below, I’ve posted several snapshots from that excursion.

Thanks for reading, and maybe you can join us next year for Sukkot NW 2015!

IMG_1161

 

IMG_1230

 

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_1203

IMG_1219

 

IMG_1238

 

 

What did Yeshua talk about the most?

The Words and Actions of Yeshua Categorized Topically

The purpose of this study was to as objectively as possible ascertain from the raw data of scripture alone what Yeshua preached about, what he taught and what he did during his early ministry. What subjects did he touch most frequently in his ministry involvements as we went about advancing the kingdom of Elohim? The implications of knowing this should be obvious. If we are to be followers or disciples of the Master, we should be doing what he did. We would do well to study his life and ministry and to model ours after his. His priorities should be ours, his message ours, his methods ours. We should stress the issues he stressed, and not stress what he didn’t stress. Conversely, wouldn’t emphasizing issues that he didn’t emphasize, reprioritizing his priorities be an affront to him an act of disobedience? It seems that the application of situational ethics to the gospel message so that its heart and core is altered in an attempt to make it “more relevant to our modern generation,” to make it more appealing and less offensive, or to make it more “seeker-sensitive” when preaching, teaching or evangelizing an insult to YHVH and to his Word. It’s as if we’re saying, “we know better than Elohim.” How absurd! Deciding what we think what we think the gospel message should be without fully understanding what it was is dangerous. If we base what we do and say on the former rather than the latter, we are feeding from the tree of knowledge and usurping Elohim’s authority to determine his Word, and, again, asserting, unwittingly or not, that we know better than Elohim. This is humanism — the enthronement of the human mind, desires and will over that of the Creator’s. To do this is to become a partner in Satan’s rebellion against the Almighty Creator.

In the data that follows, only the verses in Gospels of Matthew and John were analyzed and tabulated and not Mark and Luke, since they closely parallel and often repeat what Matthew records in his Gospel. Matthew and John are complimentary, since they more or less cover different episodes in the life of Yeshua. The following is the summary of my findings. Of the 136 subjects that Yeshua dealt with, these are the top winners.

  • Yeshua speaking about himself: 316 references
  • Elohim the Father: 184 references
  • Hypocritical religious leaders: 177 references
  • The kingdom of Elohim: 71 references (or 144 references when combined with Righteousness)
  • The death, burial, resurrection, and suffering of the Messiah: 54 references
  • Elohim’s Judgment: 53 references
  • Obedience and faithfulness (to the Word or Torah of Elohim): 44 references
  • Spiritual rewards: 43 references
  • Healing: 42 references
  • Worldliness (the cares of this world and carnal mindedness): 37 references
  • Persecution and trials: 34 references
  • Faith/belief in Yeshua: 32 references
  • Faithlessness and unbelief: 24 references

From these data, we can see what subjects were most important to Yeshua. Let’s now ask ourselves how modern Christianity presents the gospel message? How much teaching exists about the Father or about the kingdom of Elohim? How about on Elohim’s judgment against sin (by biblical definition, Torahlessness; see 1 John 3:4), or on obedience to the Torah?

Interestingly, in my analysis of Yeshua’s words and actions, several popular subjects in Christianity ranked low on the bottom of the list.

  • Money: 3 references (although “the perils of materialism” had 19 references)
  • Blessings: 4 references
  • Miracles and signs: 25 references
  • Physical needs: 2 references
  • Love (brotherly): 10 references
  • Love (of Elohim for man and vice versa): 19 references

There were no references for the following popular subjects within Christian circles (go to any Christian book store and see what the subjects of the best selling Christian books are!).

  • Financial security
  • Pleasure and entertainment
  • Retirement
  • Sexual pleasure and fulfillment
  • Self esteem
  • Psychology
 

Yeshua in Every Book of the Bible

Yeshua in Every Book of the Bible

In Genesis, Yeshua is the eternal Torah-light of the world, the breath of life and the seed of the woman.

In Exodus, he is the Passover lamb, the Torah-Word of Elohim, and the way to the Father in the tabernacle.

In Leviticus, he is our atoning sacrifice and our high priest.

In Numbers, he is the pillar of cloud by day and pillar of fire by night.

In Deuteronomy, he is the prophet like unto Moses.

In Joshua, he is the captain of our salvation who leads us into the kingdom of Elohim.

In Judges, he is our judge and lawgiver.

In Ruth, he is our kinsman redeemer.

In 1 and 2 Samuel, he is our trusted prophet.

In Kings and Chronicles, he is our reigning king.

In Ezra, he is the builder of our temple, which houses the Spirit of Elohim.

In Nehemiah, he is the rebuilder of the broken down walls of human life.

In Esther, he is our Mordechai who saves us from those who would kill, steal and destroy us.

In Job, he is our ever-living Redeemer.

In Psalms, he is our shepherd to lead us in the ways of Torah-life.

In Proverbs and Ecclesiastes, he is our wisdom.

In Song of Solomon, he is our Loving Bridegroom.

In Isaiah, he is the Suffering Servant who bears our sins, the Repairer of the Breach between the two houses of Israel, and the Prince of Peace.

In Jeremiah, he is our Righteous Branch.

In Lamentations, he is the weeping prophet.

In Ezekiel, he is the one who rejoins the two sticks of Israel bringing them to worship Elohim together his temple.

In Daniel, he is the fourth man in life’s fiery furnace and our Ancient of Day.

In Hosea, he is the faithful husband forever married to the backslider.

In Joel, he is the baptize of the Holy Spirit.

In Amos, he is our burden bearer.

In Obadiah, he is mighty to save.

In Jonah, he is our great foreign missionary.

In Micah, he is the messenger of beautiful feet.

In Nahum, he is our strength and shield, and the avenger of Elohim’s elect.

In Habakkuk, he is Elohim’s evangelist crying, “Revive thy works in the midsts of the years.”

In Zephaniah, he is our Savior.

In Haggai, he is the restorer of Elohim’s lost heritage.

In Zechariah, he is a fountain opened up in the house of David for sin and uncleanliness.

In Malachi, he is the Sun of Righteousness arising with healing in his wings.

In Matthew, Yeshua the Messiah is the King of the Jews.

In Mark, he is the servant.

In Luke, he is the Son of Man, feeling what you feel.

In John, he is the Son of Elohim.

In Acts, he is the Savior of the world.

In Romans, he is the righteousness of Elohim.

In 1 Corinthians, he is the Rock, the Father of Israel.

In 2 Corinthians, he is the triumphant one giving victory.

In Galatians, he is your liberty. He set you free.

In Ephesians, he is the head of his spiritual body.

In Philippians, he is your joy.

In Colossians, he is your completeness.

In 1 and 2 Thessalonians, he is your hope.

In 1 Timothy, he is your faith.

In 2 Timothy, he is your stability.

In Titus, he is truth.

In Philemon, he is your benefactor.

In Hebrews, he is your perfection.

In James, he is the power behind your faith.

In 1 Peter, he is your example.

In 2 Peter, he is your purity.

In 1 John, he is your life.

In 2 John, he is your pattern.

In 3 John, he is  your motivation.

In Jude, he is the foundation of your faith.

In Revelation, he is the Righteous Judge of the world, the Avenger of the saints, your coming King, your First and Last, the Beginning and the End, the Keeper of creation, the Creator of all, the Architect of the universe and the Manager of all times. He always was, he always is and always will be. He’s unmoved, unchanged, undefeated, and never undone. He was bruised and brought healing. He was pierced to heal our pain. He was persecuted and brought freedom. He was dead and brought life. He is risen and brings power. He reigns and brings peace. The world can’t understand him, the armies can’t defeat him, the public schools can’t kick him out and the leaders can’t ignore him. Herod couldn’t kill him, the Pharisees couldn’t confuse him, the people couldn’t hold him, Nero couldn’t crush him,  Hitler couldn’t silence him, the communists can’t destroy him, the atheists can’t explain him away, and the New Age can’t replace him. He is life, love, longevity and Lord. He is goodness, kindness, gentleness and Elohim. He is holy, righteous, mighty, powerful and pure. His ways are right, his word is eternal, his will is unchanging, and his eyes are on me. He is my Redeemer, he is my Savior, he is my Guide, he is my peace, he is my joy, he is my comfort, he is my Lord, and HE RULES MY LIFE!