Blog Scripture Readings for 7-22 Through 7-28-18

Aside

THIS WEEK’S SCRIPTURE READINGS FOR STUDY AND DISCUSSION:

Parashat Va’etchanan — Deuteronomy 3:23 – 7:11
Haftarah — Isaiah 40:1-26
Prophets — Ezekiel 35:1 – 41:26
Writings — Nehemiah 11:1 – 13:31; 1 Chronicles 1:1 – 3:24
Testimony — Ephesians 4:1 – 6:24; Philippians 1:1 – 4:23

Our annual Scripture Reading Schedule for 2017-2018 is available to download and print.

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 7/22/18 through 7/28/18.

 

A Gentile Christian Is an Oxymoron

For a Christian to claim to be a Gentile is like claiming to be a pagan or a heathen as Paul defines the term in Ephesians chapter two.

Ephesians 2:11, Gentiles. Paul says in a number of places that those who come to Yeshua are no longer Gentiles but are the children or seed (literally “sperm,” which is the meaning of the Greek word) of Abraham (Eph 2:11–19; Rom 4:16; 9:8–11; Gal 3:7,9,14,28–29). The word Gentiles as used in the Scriptures (both in the Hebrew and the Greek languages) simply means “ethnic groups or nations.” There are many places in the Scriptures where Jews and Israelites are referred to as “Gentiles.” There is no class of people called Gentiles in the spiritual body of Yeshua. Scripture uses the following terms for the redeemed of YHVH: the saints, the called out ones (or church), the body of Yeshua (1 Cor 10:16; 12:27; Eph 4:12) the one new man (Eph 2:15), sons of Elohim (Rom 8:14, 19; Phil 2:15; 1 John 3:1, 2), children of Elohim (Rom 8:16, 21; Gal 3:26; 1 John 3:10), or Abraham’s offspring (Gal 3:29), the bride (Rev 18:23; 21:2, 9; 22:17) for example. 

Any attempt by anyone to keep the Jew—Gentile division alive within the body of Yeshua is in effect keeping up the middle wall of partition that the Apostle Paul gave his ministry life and eventually his physical life to tearing down (see Eph 2:11–19). It is also going against the clear teaching of the Scriptures, which say that within the spiritual body of Yeshua, there is no longer Jew or Gentile/Greek (Rom 10:12; Gal 3:28; Col 3:11).

The Scriptures reveal that there are only two classifications of people: Israelites and non-Israelites or Gentiles. The former has eternal life because of their relationship with the Elohim of Israel through the Messiah of Israel. The latter group, unless they repent of their sin (i.e. lawlessness or Torahlessness, see 1 John 3:4), will burn in the lake of fire because their names weren’t written in the book of life (Rev 20:11–15). 

Whenever Paul uses the term Gentiles, he is either referring to ethnicity, and not using the term as a spiritual designation, or he is using the term Gentile to mean “worldly.” In the latter case, it is a moniker referring to those who are carnal in that they act like gentiles (heathens) who are “without God and without hope” (Eph 2:12). 

Throughout the Epistle to the Ephesians (and elsewhere) Paul, when speaking to the believers in that congregation, uses terms like saints, we, us, sons, the church, his body, one new man, one body, fellow citizens, members of the household of Elohim, the whole building, a holy temple, body of Messiah, a perfect man, the whole body, children of light, her, she, and members of his [Yeshua’s] body. In Ephesians, Paul uses the term Gentiles only five times (Eph 23:11; 3:1, 6, 8; 4:17), and this not as the ultimate spiritual designation for redeemed believers who had come from a non-Jewish background. Rather, Paul uses the term Gentiles as he was either referring to their past spiritual history (Eph 2:11; 4:17), to his mission to evangelize non-Jewish people (Eph 3:1, 8), or in stating that Gentiles should take their place as fellow spiritual heirs along with the Jews within the spiritual body of Yeshua (Eph 3:6).

The term Gentile is not a spiritual designation for a redeemed believer, for they have been called out of the Gentile world and have become a member of a special group the Testimony of Yeshuas labels as “the called out ones” or “church” (Gr. ecclesia). Scripture also calls called out ones or redeemed believers saints meaning “set-apart” (Gr. hagios) from the Gentile world that is without Elohim and without hope. Scripture teaches that those who are redeemed or who are “in Messiah” are no longer Gentiles, for they have been grafted into and become part of the nation of Israel (Rom 11:13–24 and Eph 2:11–19). They have become the one new man about which Paul speaks in Ephesians 2:15.

Now that we know that we are really part of a people group called “Redeemed Israel” what does one do with this information? That is up to you. Pray and ask your Father in heaven to help you to live out your new identity as an Israelite. 

Many people upon finding out that Scripture actually defines them as Israelites (through the blood of Yeshua, Eph 2:11–16) and not Gentiles, begin to sense a need to begin acting more like Israelites in their lifestyle and beliefs. They become interested in the biblical feasts and Sabbaths of Israel and their life takes on a more Hebraic or Jewish flavor as they see themselves more in the light of the Book of Acts believers. This is a path that you will need to begin to explore. As you go down this journey, please keep in mind the words of Yeshua in Matthew 5:17–19; John 15:15 and the words of the apostles in 1 Corinthians 11:1 and 1 John 2:3–6 along with Romans 7:12,14 and 3:31.

We must also keep in mind that there are only twelve gates through which one can enter the New Jerusalem, and these gates are named after the twelve tribes of Israel (Rev 21:12). There is no Gentile gate! The only way that one will be able to enter the New Jerusalem will be through spiritually identifying with the tribes of Israel. So which tribe are you?

Finally, YHVH, the God of the Bible, never made any covenants with non-Israelite nations—only with the nation of Israel. To be in covenantal relationship with YHVH, one has to accept the Jewish Messiah, and be grafted into the Israelite olive tree through the Messiah and become an Israelite—PERIOD! For example, the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews clearly states that the New Covenant is made with the two houses of Israel—not the Gentile nations (see Heb 8:8 and Jer 31:31,33). This may come as a shock to some people reading this, but this is the truth of Scripture.

 

Salvation by Works or Grace?

Ephesians 2:8, 10, Saved … good works. Are we saved by faith through grace or by our good works? This verse clearly answers this question. One is saved by the free gift of YHVH’s grace through faith (in Yeshua). Salvation isn’t based on good works (Torah obedience), or else prideful man would boast about how good his is, and that YHVH must have saved him on the merits of his good works. However, once one is saved, and a result of his salvation one will produce the fruits good works, which is Torah-obedience. This is the definition of biblical righteousness (Ps 119:172) and shows us how to walk in the Spirit by loving YHVH with our all and our neighbor as ourself. When we live out this pattern, we become Elohim’s workmanship through Yeshua.

 

What Is the Biblical Definition of Legalism?

 

A Wild and Crazy Place to Be

The spiritual Babylon of the church system is a warm and comfortable place in which to live. Within its comfort zones, it has fixed boundaries and clear delineations. When one steps out of the mainstream church system, however, and into a more Hebraic and Torah-pursuant spiritual orientation, it can becomes the shooting gallery of the wild, wild west of doctrines and ideas. 

Outside the so-called organized church system, or churchianity for short, it’s a free-for-all wilderness of every man doing what’s right in his own eyes. In this wilderness outside of organized religion, one has to determine which church beliefs to hold on to and which ones are lies and unbiblical traditions our spiritual fathers have passed on down to us. Here one must learn to separate the spiritual wheat from the chaff. As one’s eyes are opened to the pro-Torah Hebrew roots of the Christian faith, there are many new ideas and doctrines to consider. When coming onward and upward to a fuller knowledge of the truth, one must determine priorities without falling prey to more false doctrines and legalism. This includes determining which biblical truths are the trunk of the tree issues, and which areas are the twigs and the branches. 

In the midst of this confusion, there are many winds of doctrines blowing around capturing people’s attention. People often get sidetracked from the trunk of the tree issues and get hung up on nonessential issues. Paul warned about this.

That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind [violent agitation, very strong tempestuous wind] of doctrine [teaching, instruction], by the sleight [deception] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive [to delude, lead astray from the right way]. (Eph 4:14)

If one is not grounded firmly on the foundation of essential biblical truths, one can get hung up on side-issues that can become nonessential pet doctrines. Those who fall prey to this tendency will often gravitate toward biblical teachers who agree with them. A pet doctrine can become so important to a person that it can become a spiritual idol in one’s heart. One can become so convinced of the importance of a Continue reading

 

Obtaining Ultimate Salvation—A Process, Not a One Time Event

Deuteronomy 2:31, Begin to possess [the Promised Land]. Possession of the Promised Land was a process. This concept is as true for us as much as it was for the children of Israel.

The idea in mainstream Christianity that when you receive salvation at the beginning of your spiritual walk and that’s all there is to possessing or entering the kingdom of Elohim is a seriously incomplete one. It doesn’t fit the biblical models or the teachings of the apostolic writers about the need for the believer to persevere and overcome to the end to receive his ultimate eternal inheritance.

When this verse states that Israel “began to possess [the Promised Land],” what does this mean? Why didn’t YHVH give it to Israel all at once? What did Israel have to do to “possess” the land? What do we have to do to possess our spiritual inheritance? Does YHVH just hand it to us, or do we have to persevere, overcome and fight for it?

Leaving Egypt is a picture of a believer’s initial salvation, while entering the Promised Land is a picture of a believer’s ultimate salvation involving his glorification or the redemption of his physical body and being granted eternal inheritance at the resurrection. It’s also a picture of rewards for obedience. 

Much more could be said on this subject, and the apostolic writers show us. Suffice it so say, the idea that the mainstream church propagates that receiving salvation is a one time event like getting your ticked punched to a movie or amusement park ride falls woefully short of the biblical truth and has led many people astray spiritually. Yes, the initial steps in the process are relatively easy, but then there’s the repentance, the spiritual walk, the obedience and lordship of Yeshua, the overcoming, and the levels of rewards. All of these things are precursors and steps in the process to actually receiving eternal life and a resurrected glorified body.

The children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt and their subsequent 40 years journey to the Promised Land is a picture of this process and all the steps in between. It’s a picture of the redeemed believer’s life and all of the faith-building struggles one must encounter before entering the the Promised Land of their ultimate spiritually inheritance.

The idea that the saint can have it all here and now is not a biblical one, but an ear-tickling message promoted by hireling gospel peddlers and corporate church merchandizers who have something to sell you. Beware of these false teachers who refuse to tell you the whole truth as presented in the Bible! Let the buyer beware.

 

Dealing With Crazy Family Members

Deuteronomy 2:2–9, Edom. Edom (another name for Esau, brother of Jacob) and Moab and Ammon (sons of Lot) were blood relatives of the Israelites. Often those of our own family will stand in our way as we go in to possess our ­spiritual, Elohim-given inheritance and destiny.

What is the lesson from this passage of scripture on how to deal with less-than-cooperative family members who fail to recognize the calling on your life? Are we to make war with them? Are we in any way to be beholden to or dependent on them for our physical needs? If we became dependent upon them could this help or hinder our chances of entering our own spiritual destiny or “Promised Land” that YHVH has for us? Does YHVH desire our families to be saved? (See Acts 16:31; 2 Pet 3:9.) How can we be a light to our families if we are fighting and attempting to destroy those who would spiritually stand in our way? These aren’t easy questions to answer. One thing is certain though. We must put serving and obeying YHVH Yeshua above allegiance to our families. Yeshua had some pretty hard words in this regard (see Matt 10:34–39).

This passage also teaches us to avoid conflicts with family members at all costs. No good can come from such confrontations. How does verse 5 start out? Now go on to read verse 6. YHVH instructed the Israelites to treat their cousins with respect and civility—almost in a business-like manner. Nowhere does Scripture tell us that we have to like our heathen family members. But neither are we to act offensively toward them. Like the Israelites when forced to encounter long lost relatives, sometimes it is best to smile, be nice, but keep moving on! 

Another lesson to be learned from these verses is this: Choose your battles carefully. Avoid conflicts with others if possible. Go to battle only when YHVH tells you to. Only then will you come out victoriously, for then he will be fighting on your side and not against you. Latter in this chapter, we see that YHVH instructed the Israelites to engage certain nations and defeat them. When Israel obeyed him and fought only his battles, what was the outcome? (Read 2:24–3:11 cp. 3:22.)

 

Confronting the Lies About Paul—Galatians Explained from a Hebraic Perspective

You have been lied to about Paul and his epistle to the Galatians!

 

An Important Question

When addressing the lies that the mainstream church has been dishing out like a load of dung against Paul and the Word of Elohim (i.e. Yeshua the Messiah, the Word of Elohim) since the time of the early church fathers, let us first ask an important question that has far-reaching implication including whether you can trust the Bible and whether you are saved or not. In the Epistle to the Galatians. It is this: Is Paul advocating the abrogation of the Torah-law as mainstream Christianity teaches or not?

This is the lens through which most Christians view Galatians. For example, the chapter subheadings in my NKJV Bible reveal the antitorah bias of mainstream Christianity. The heading above Galatians 2:11 reads, “No Return to the Law,” and the heading over Gal 3:10 reads, “ The Law Brings a Curse.” When Christians study their Bibles and encounter these subheadings that are written by men and not inspired by the Spirit, what are they to think? Most don’t questions the scholars who translate the Bible or the publishers sell the Bibles. Most readers will automatically thinks to themselves, “After all, these translators and publishers are Bible experts, they know more than I do, so who am I to question them?”

Interestingly, the same author of Galatians elsewhere admonishes us to, “Prove/test all things; hold fast to that which is good” (1 Thess 5:21). This is the responsibility of each saint as he studies the word of Elohim. Therefore, it behooves us to have a touch of intellectual scepticism when studying the Scriptures to insure that we’re not unwittingly putting our faith in the traditions and doctrines of men by which the word of Elohim has Continue reading