Friday, December 30, 2016

Week 52 Bible Reading Review (Final)

Week 52  1 John 1:1 to Revelation 22:21

1 John 2:5  Keeping God’s word perfects His love in us.

1 John 2:15+  Loving the world is loving a fleeting thing which is why it is not of God who is eternal.

1 John 2:27  We should look to God’s Spirit to teach us, not rely on man.

1 John 3:9 “Everyone who is born of God does not sin…”  This statement seems contrary to earlier passages in this book.  Is this talking about the final spiritual state?  I like the footnote that says an alternative to saying “does not sin” would be “does not practice sin”.

1 John 3:18  Love with truth and action, not with just word and speech.

1 John 4:18  “Perfect love casts out fear”  If we are fearful we have not perfected love.

1 John 5:7  Repeated throughout this book is the concept that loving God equates with keeping His commands.

2 John 1:4  love = walking according to His commands.

2 John 1:9  Not remaining in Messiah’s teaching means you do not have God.

3 John 1:11  The one who does evil has not seen God.

Jude 1:6-7  The angels and their activity mentioned in these verses gives some credence to them creating offspring as mentioned in the book of Enoch.

Rev 7:13  Are the stars not as we have been taught by science?  Here they fall to the earth.

Rev 11:15  Yehusa / Jesus said He would return at the last trump.  This is the seventh and last trump, when the kingdom of the world becomes His.

Rev 19:8  The fine linen of the bride represents the righteous acts of the saints.  Do we have righteous deeds?

Rev 20:4-5  Here it states that the dead come to life.  This implies that they were dead / asleep until the resurrection either before, in the first resurrection or after the 1000 year millennial reign of the Messiah in the second.

Rev 20:14  Speaking of those cast into the lake of fire it is called the “Second Death” which is not alive in eternal punishment but dead in eternal extermination.

Rev 22  In the new Jerusalem there seems to still be people who need food, healing, and light.  This in context is after death has been destroyed.  There is much we don’t yet understand.

Revelation is a book of both great destruction and great glory.  There is definitely a lot of speculation people have made about it.  May you be covered by the blood of the lamb!

Wisdom for the week

By the grace of God I have completed reading through the Bible in one year as I have set out.  I came across a chart someone put together about the nature of God which I think sums up best what I hope to have learned going through the Bible reading.  Do we see God in all of His nature, or focus on one particular aspect more heavily than anything else?  My reading and this chart helped me to consider all His nature and see that He has perfect balance.

The Nature Of God (Bible Verse Percentages)

  • God as holy  15%
  • God as faithful  11%
  • God as a judge  17%
  • God as powerful  18%
  • God as righteous  16%
  • God as just   14%
  • God as love  8%

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Week 51 Bible Reading Review

Week 51  Hebrews 1:1 to 1 John 1:1

Heb 2:19  Believers should not fear death.

Heb 4:10  Entering His rest is resting from our own works / agenda.

Heb 10:2  Once we are purified (sins are forgiven) we should no longer have a consciousness of sin (guilt / shame / condemnation), and no further offering is needed (v18)  There is no sacrifice for deliberate sin, only judgement (v26-27+).

Heb 11:6  Without faith it is impossible to please God, for the one who draws near to Him must believe that He exists and rewards those who seek Him. (2:17   Faith without works is dead)

Heb 12:3+  Anyone who thinks discipline is bad should read this passage.

Jam 1:5  We can all ask for more wisdom!

Jam 1:20  Man’s anger does not accomplish God’s righteousness.  This sounds like it is not possible for man to have “righteous anger”.

1 Pet 3:17  It is better to suffer for doing good than doing evil.

1 Pe 5:7  A good verse to remember:  Cast your cares on God, because He cares for you.

2 Pe 1:5-7  Faith->Goodness->Knowledge->Self-Control->Endurance->Godliness->Brotherly Affection->Love.  I find it interesting that love is at the end of the long list, or goal of the divine nature.  Skipping to love might make it impure.

2 Pe 2:4+  God’s judgement is just!

2 Pe 3:16-17  Warning:  Be wary of those twisting scripture and don’t be led away by the error of lawless people.

Next Reading:  Week 52  1 John 1:1 to Revelation 22:21

Wisdom for the week

I have learned a lot about the value of dreams going through an online event while it was offered for free by Christian Leadership University’s School of the Spirit website.  Below are my notes from the 10 sessions.  Hopefully you will find it of interest.

Session 1: Bridges to the Supernatural
With dreams you can hear from God every single night.
Dream interpretation is a skill that can be learned.
Dreams are God’s contingency ensuring He always has a way to connect with us.
God lives in our hearts, not our heads.  We want to live out of our hearts.
Observation causes transformation.  Spiritual into physical.
Be His witnesses.  Baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us to be visual witnesses.
See and agree with spiritual visions.

Session 2:  ABCs of Dream Work
Dreams are:  Symbolic and metaphorical, rarely literal
Dreams don't typically come true the way it is played out. (95%)
Example: Joseph:  Sheaves of wheat, sun and moon bowing.  Brothers understood it referred to them.
Other cultures honor and understand dreams.
Things and people in dreams often represent something else.

Dream Decoder:
1. Setting - what is the setting, what is going on in my waking life right before this dream.
    a. Setting is a decoder for the dream.
    b. What are you praying about, thinking about, in waking life?
2. Action - key action in dream, how does that match with an action in waking life?  This is the area the dream is speaking to.
3. Emotion - How are you feeling in the dream, match with the same emotion in waking life.  This is the area the dream is speaking to.

Dream symbols are personal to the dreamer.  Symbols from waking world of dreamer.

Always up to the dreamer to determine if interpretation is right, it will bear witness with their heart.

Session 3:  Scriptural Precedents
1/3 of the Bible is about dream and vision.
Do we say:  "That was a cool dream, too bad it isn't real or didn't actually happen..."
Things that happen in dreams God says count.  Solomon blessed, Abrahamic covenant…
Act on your dreams.  Jacob dreamed of striped and speckled flocks which he acted upon.

Dreams are the way God connects to our hearts.

God uses dreams to keep us on track.  See:  Job 33:14-30

Dreams help us see things from God's perspective.

Session 4 Snapshots of the Spirit and pictures and parables
“DAESI” Dream Work Method (pronounced daisy)

Dream – Start with a summary of your dream
Action - In the dream, what was I doing?
Emotion - In the dream, how was I feeling?
Setting - In waking life, what is my heart processing
Interpretation - Match up the dream action & emotion with waking life, and journal.

Why can't dreams be clearer? Why does God speak in pictures?

Pictures bypass our mind and cut to the heart.  God wants to engage our hearts, he wants to engage our emotions and feelings, pictures move our emotions which move us to Godly actions.

Example:  2 Sam 12  Nathan painted a picture that engaged David’s heart and emotions, then when he made it literal, David was already convicted as it bypassed his mind to his emotions and he then took the proper action.

God gives us dreams to give His point of view and to line up our hearts to His feelings, then we are moved to Godly action.

Pictures are better than a literal language because they engage our heart which drives our actions.
Pictures engage our emotions to align us to His way of thinking and to take the right action.

God want's our heart engaged in our obedience.  He uses our dreams to do that.  Being simply told what to do, you may obey on the surface but your heart is not in it.

Session 5:  Fun Form of Dreams
Dreams contain idioms, colloquialisms.
Multiple levels of meaning and understanding can come from the same dream.
God doesn't hide things from us, he hides things for us to discover.
Dreams are the treasures we receive in the darkness.

Session 6:  Out of our heads, into our hearts
Yeshua lives in our hearts.
Dethrone the intellect and crown the Spirit so we can live in the supernatural without effort.
Dreams can move scriptural truths from our heads to our hearts.
Knowing in our heart is superior to knowing only in our head and we are more steadfast when our heart is engaged.
We want heart revelation because then we own it.
The Holy Spirit writes words upon our hearts through visions of the night.

What a symbol represents can vary between people.  We must always use the symbol according to the dreamer because symbols are personal to the dreamer.
The dreamer is the best person to interpret their dream.  They know important details and connections.

God can guide us through dreams to where we need to be.

Session 7  Creativity and Personalized Dream Symbols
Dreams give creativity to our jobs worked on during the day.
Symbols are personal to the dreamer.
1. Symbols come from the dreamers waking world
2. Symbols can mean different things depending who is dreaming it and what their experience is from the symbol, definition must come from dreamer.

God customizes our dreams with the symbols we know.

Yeast in Bible = sin, except verse when equated with Kingdom of Heaven
Lion in Bible = Yeshua (tribe of Judah), except verse when equated with satan

Interpretations belong to God.
Trust His Spirit within you to teach you.

Don’t ask: what does this symbol mean?
Do ask: what does this symbol mean to the dreamer?

Session 8 Why all bad dreams aren't
Dreams can warn so we can repent and change our course of action.
God gets our attention so we can know where we are headed if we don't change.
Nightmares might be used by God to get our attention when we don't listen otherwise.
Nightmares might be used to expose negative emotions we have so they can be dealt with.

Dreams amplify and exaggerate things to get our attention of what in our waking life needs to be dealt with.

We should process our emotions before we go to sleep so we won’t be dreaming about it.
Go through our day before we go to bed, go to sleep in gratitude and peace, repent and surrender if needed.

Live in holy emotions.

One possible cause of nightmares is demonization - cast out demon of fear to stop nightmares.

Sexual dreams:  often symbolic and used by God to get our attention.
To a holy God, any sin is sin and he may use a more offensive sin in our mind to highlight an issue we aren’t dealing with.

Dreams can reveal God’s heart and should not condemn us.

Session 9:  Dreams Children Dream
Dreams reveal their hearts true feelings.
Dreams are messages of encouragement, prophetic, if we feel condemned and not encouraged then we don't have the right interpretation.
Dreams are a way to bring to your attention things that aren't dealt with during the day.
Provide a positive setting before bedtime.
Teach them to take authority in bad dreams.

Session 10: Practical Tips for Dream Work
    1.  Not remembering dreams.
Honor dreams (repent for dishonoring / dismissing dreams)
Ask God for dreams
Expect in faith  (God wants us to remember our dreams more than we do)
Set out pen and paper by the bed
Get 8 hours of sleep
See sleep time as Spiritual time
Awaken naturally.  Alarm clocks shatter dream recall.
Go to bed at a consistent time, use dream friendly alarm clock. (light, nature)
Pray in the Spirit as you wake up.
    2.   Remembering too much.
Keep summaries of dream (1-2 paragraph max)
All dreams in one night usually speak to the same heart issue
Record most impactful or last dream / last segment of night
    3.   Stuck on interpretation?
Keep pondering / praying until it resonates with your heart.
Journal about it.
Describe it a different way to get a fresh perspective.

You are the best person to work with your dreams.  You know the symbols and setting.
God is excited to connect with us during our sleep.

Healing in layers.  God doesn't condemn, just exposes the root.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Week 50 Bible Reading Review

Week 50  Philippians 1:1 to Hebrews 1:1

Phil 1:12+  Paul saw beyond himself, his imprisonment and suffering, to the good it was producing in others.

Phil 2:14  Do everything without grumbling or arguing to be blameless and pure.  This is a good reminder and goal to strive for.

Phil 3:19  Do we focus on earthly things?  Is our stomach our god?

Phil 4:8  What to think on.  Food for our brain!

Col 2:3  All the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are hidden in Messiah.  Don’t waste time seeking elsewhere.

Col 2:16-23  One may think this passage is addressing God’s laws and commands, but in context it seems to be addressing man’s addendums to God’s instructions.  It is better to obey God than man.

Col 3:4  Love is the perfect bond of unity.

1 Thes 5:18  God’s will for you:  Give thanks in everything!  This means we are out of His will when we don’t.

2 Thes 2:4  Does this verse indicate that God’s temple will be rebuilt before the “antichrist” declares himself God to the world?

2 Thes 3:10  “If anyone isn’t willing to work, he should not eat”.  Free handouts may not be the best policy.

1 Tim 1:9  The law is meant to expose sin and should not be our focus.

1 Tim 4:1-5  This passage may seem like anything can now be eaten, but in context v5 says that which is sanctified (set apart) by the word of God is what defines our food.

1 Tim 4:7  Training ourselves in godliness should be our focus, not the pursuits of this world.

2 Tim 2:21  The dishonorable (person or vessel) can become honorable by purification.

2 Tim 2:23  This verse is one of many admonitions to not quarrel.  V26 equates quarrelers with doing the devil’s will.

2 Tim 3:12  All those who want to live godly will be persecuted.

Titus 3:10  A divisive person, after being warned should be rejected.  Doing so should eliminate divisions in the church.

Some of the books by Paul, in particular Philemon, seem odd to be included in the Bible.  Was it just because Paul wrote it, with little regard to its useful content to Bible readers?

Next Reading:  Week 51  Hebrews 1:1 to 1 John 1:1

Wisdom for the week

I found this post from Dale Cresap helpful this past week.

There are a few gender related terms in the Bible. Do you find that women struggle with the references to Sons of God, and men with the idea of being the Bride of Christ? I tell you not to stumble over these concepts. The vast majority of my word is not gender specific, and that includes these passages. References to the Sons of God apply to women as much as to men as do the references to the Bride of Christ. In Christ there is neither male nor female. I’m trying to reveal eternal and transcendent truth to you. Don’t make it hard for me.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Week 49 Bible Reading Review

Week 49  1 Corinthians 15:1 to Philippians 1:1

2 Cor 3:6  The letter kills, but the Spirit produces life.  We need His Spirit to interpret the letter correctly.  We cannot properly understand the Bible without His Spirit.

2 Cor 8:14-15  The parallel to the manna gathering indicates that those who gathered much gave to those who did not.

Is Paul saying that the law (God’s instructions for us on how to live and love our neighbor) is no longer necessary for our lives?  If so this would be contrary to many verses in the Bible, including ones that say God does not change.  I offer another perspective below in that it is not the law that was removed, but that the price (penalty) was paid for our transgressions.  We must consider all scripture together as a whole.

Gal 4:5  God’s son sent to: “redeem those under the law”  To redeem is to pay the price.  The law was made because of transgressions, (Gal 3:19) to define the penalty.  This redemption paid for our transgressions, releasing the law’s penalty (subjugation).  Being under the law returns when one continues in sin without repentance.  This is why we need to continually seek redemption, less we trample the blood and again are under the law.

Gal 5:14  The fulfillment of the law is loving your neighbor as yourself.  If the law is “done away” then we also have no need to love our neighbor, as well as no need for a redeemer.  This illustrates that no longer being under the law does not mean the law is removed, just that the penalty for breaking it has been paid. (Redemption)

Gal 5:18  If we are being led by the Spirit, then we are not under the law penalty because we will not be carrying out the fleshly desires. (Not committing transgressions of the law)  This is why there is no law against the fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:23) because there is no fleshly transgressions or sin being done.

Gal 6:2  To fulfill the law is to obey it.

Eph 2:15  To make of no affect the law is the same as saying removed the penalty by redemption.  Again, we cannot be removing the law because there are too many other verses showing the value of it.

Next Reading:  Week 50  Philippians 1:1 to Hebrews 1:1

Wisdom for the week

I really enjoy Dale Cresap’s short wisdom packed blogs that he gets from God.  So much so that I even made an Android program (with Dale’s permission) that is free on Google play which contains his blog entries in a nice little searchable app.  This week’s selection from Dale’s blog posting is extra special to me.  I believe this is the third time that I have been pondering or struggling with questions that God chose to answer for me the next day through Dale’s blog that came in my email.  With this one I was thinking about my sense of value and God addressed it in the blog below the very next day!  What makes this even more amazing is that understanding from working with Dale for the app I know that Dale is about a year ahead on his blog postings.  So each blog post he sends out is something he wrote around a year ago!  That means God coordinated the time to the answers of my questions at least a year in advance!


Have you noticed that low self-esteem is always considered a problem and that high self-esteem is a desirable trait? This is contrary to Biblical wisdom. Can you find anything in the Bible that tells you to think more highly of yourself than you otherwise would? Yet there are many admonitions to humble yourself and to esteem others better than yourself. High self-esteem is inherent in the human race and it is a big part of your problem. The conflict between this and reality is mistakenly called low self-esteem. A mature Christian has a proper understanding of his own nature and position. He is content to be accepted and beloved by me, and has nothing to prove about himself to himself or to others.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Week 48 Bible Reading Review

Week 48  Romans 4:1 to 1 Corinthians 15:1

Romans 6-7  These chapters talk about the law, sin, grace, and righteousness.  Paul does not despise the law but rather exalts by saying that it is spiritual (7:14), holy and good (7:12), and meant for life (7:10).  It is as if our flesh is a slave to sin, and the law is needed to define sin as evil.  The law is actually necessary, for without the law we would have no need of a Savior, for without the law we would have no sin. (7:9)  6:11-12+  The law gives sin its death hold, but grace (dying in Christ) releases that death grip and we can then rise to a new Master and become a slave to righteousness.  Grace does not excuse further sinning. (6:1-2)

Romans 8  Serving righteousness gives us freedom from serving sin which is death as defined in the law.

Romans 12  A good read for what we should strive for.

Romans 14  A good reminder to accept differences and not be judgmental.

1 Cor 5  We are not to judge the worldly sinners but to be a light.  At the same time we are not to tolerate sinners who are professing Christians.  This stance would strengthen the church's purity and drive sinners to repentance.

1 Cor 7  Paul does not demand separation from an unbelieving spouse.  Compare this with Ezra 10:3

1 Cor 8:10  Paul repeatedly says up to this point that what he is writing is his opinion.  Here I disagree with his statement that eating in an idols' temple is acceptable.  Regardless of what I think or “feel” about it, what God says stands, “Thou shall have no other Gods before me”.  What Paul states here seems to contradict what he says later in chapter 10:18-22 which is more agreeable to me.

1 Cor 9:20  I find it interesting that some manuscripts omit “though I myself am not under the law”.  Was this added or removed for the original letter?

1 Cor 11  The head-covering discussion is confusing at best.  Verse 15 says a woman’s hair is her covering.  And then the discussion ends in verse 16 with:  If anyone wants to argue about this, we have no custom regarding this.  Is this more of Paul’s opinions being expressed?

Conclusion from the last few chapters in this section:  Do everything decently and in order with love.

Next Reading: Week 49  1 Corinthians 15:1 to Philippians 1:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week.

Are you familiar with the idea of letting someone off the hook? If you have a case or a complaint against someone and decide not to pursue it this is a common expression used to describe your releasing them from judgment. Have you ever heard people complain about unfair treatment from me? Perhaps you have done this yourself. People assume that I am to blame for all the calamities and tribulations they encounter in life, and in many cases become bitter against me. These experiences may leave you with some difficult questions to struggle with about my sovereignty but the way you resolve them may lead you to false conclusions. You can start by letting me off the hook.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Week 47 Bible Reading Review

Week 47  Acts 14:1 to Romans 4:1

This portion of Acts is mostly about Paul’s journeys.  His blinding vision is recorded 3 times in this book which seems of significance.  His returning to areas of persecution shows he elevated his mission more than his life.  How few are like this today?

Romans 3:5-6  God is not unrighteous to inflict wrath.

Romans 3  Faith brings justification, not works of the law, but faith establishes the law (v31).  This is another way of saying as Yeshua / Jesus did: “if you love me, you will keep my commands.”

Next Reading:  Week 48  Romans 4:1 to 1 Corinthians 15:1

Friday, November 18, 2016

Week 46 Bible Reading Review

Week 46  John 18:1 to Acts 14:1

John 18:6  Again Yeshua / Jesus demonstrates going willingly to His death as He clearly had dominion over the people and situation.

Acts 4:31  This seems to be a separate filling of the Holy Spirit than the Pentecost event.  Is it a refilling or a different anointing?

Acts 5:5,10  Anania’s and Sapphira’s lie was not tolerated and immediate death resulted.  How would it change the modern church if things like this happened?

Acts 6:2  We can’t do everything.  Delegation is good.

Acts 8:24  Simon’s request for prayer goes unanswered.  Was his request denied or granted?  Just because someone asks for prayer doesn't mean we should automatically pray as they ask.  Better to seek direction from God on what to do.

Acts 9:40  This verse gives a key for us to seek God’s will in a situation before taking action.  (Peter prays before commanding the dead to raise.)

Acts 10:34-35  An important truth:  Whosoever fears God and does righteousness is acceptable to Him.

Acts 13:2  The best leaders are God appointed, not man appointed.

Acts 13:11  Paul commanded blindness to the sorcerer.  He didn’t try to convince him he was wrong, or cast a demon out of him, but simply to stop him in his tracks.

Next Reading:  Week 47  Acts 14:1 to Romans 4:1

Friday, November 11, 2016

Week 45 Bible Reading Review

Week 45  John 1:1 to John 18:1

John 4:9  “For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.”  The HCSB has 2 footnotes:
1. (or do not share vessels)
2. Some manuscripts omit this.
The footnotes give me a different picture than complete disassociation.

John 5:3-4  This portion about the “magic waters” always sounded fanciful to me.  The HCSB footnote says some manuscripts omit this.

John 5:19-23  Yeshua / Jesus does as the Father or like the Father shows Him.  The difference is important as one way He must wait for every instruction / step from the Father, the other He only mimics as He has been previously shown / taught.

John 14:15 gives a different rendering than some other translations:  “If you love me you will keep my commands” verses “If you love me, keep my commands.”  This HCSB gives a subtle shift from the head to the heart.

John 16:24  Curious verse:  “until now you have asked for nothing in my name”.  Wouldn’t the disciples have been sent out to cast out demons and heal the sick prior to this verse?

John 17:3  Eternal life definition:  To know the Father and the Son.

Next Reading:  Week 46  John 18:1 to Acts 14:1

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Week 44 Bible Reading Review

Week 44  Luke 11:1 to John 1:1

Luke 11:13  Persistently ask for the Holy Spirit.

Luke 11:37+  Yeshua / Jesus was not worried about being politically correct or not offending the one who invited Him to a meal.  Are we this bold?

Luke 12:49+  Yeshua, despite being like a lamb going peacefully to the slaughter, has a true desire to set the world on fire.

Luke 13  Yeshua admonishes repentance.  When we see others perish, we are not to judge them, but consider our own need for repentance.

Luke 22:20  I like Luke’s rendering of the Passover cup being the covenant established by His blood.  Not that it was His blood, as drinking blood is forbidden in Torah.

Next Reading:  Week 45  John 1:1 to John 18:1

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Week 43 Bible Reading Review

Week 43  Mark 13:1 to Luke 11:1

Mark 13:24-27  The elect gathering or “rapture” is clearly after the tribulation in this passage and version.

Mark 13  No one knows the day or the hour of His return, but we should know the season if we are paying attention.

Luke 4:28-30  This passage gives evidence that Yeshua / Jesus went willingly to his death at the right time, for He easily escapes when it is not.

Luke 5  This fills in some missing details from the previous gospels, which merely states Peter and others just leave all and up and follow Yeshua when He asks.  Here they were witness to a miracle and His teachings from their own boat beforehand, giving more sense to why they dropped everything to follow Him.  A point to remember, we are always missing details from what we know and understand.  Let us not be quick to judge.

Luke 6:47  Do we act on God’s words?

Luke 7  The account of the Centurion is quite different from the previous readings in that in one case he was personally there, while in this account he sent others to speak to Yeshua on his behalf.  Despite the differences, the results are the same in that the requested healing took place.

Luke 8:37  Why were the people so fearful?  Perhaps the now freed demons were causing this fear.

Luke 10:4  A good verse to post on the back door for Shannon to read before she goes out shopping for “stuff” at second hand stores…

Next Reading:  Week 44  Luke 11:1 to John 1:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is the latest post from Dale Cresap that goes well with the Centurion story in this week's reading.

I commended a Centurion who approached me for his great faith, but you can tell by inference that the story didn’t start there. He came on behalf of his servant rather than for himself or his immediate family, indicating that he had compassion and saw the man as more than an economic resource. He further demonstrated humility to come to me in person to place his request, crossing lines of culture, religion, status, and wealth. All of this happened before he recognized that I could heal at a distance. Faith and virtue rarely occur in isolation. If you want to see great acts of faith practice those qualities that precede them.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Week 42 Bible Reading Review

Week 42  Matthew 26:1 to Mark 13:1

Matt 26:75  Did Peter have any ability to not fulfill the words of Yeshua/Jesus about him denying Him thrice?  Would it be better not to know our future if we couldn’t change it?

Matt 27:16  An interesting footnote in the HCSB.  Some manuscripts say “Jesus Barabbas”.  So Pilot may have asked, do you want me to free Jesus the son of man, or Jesus the son of God?

Mark 3:30  Blaspheming the Holy Spirit may be calling it unclean (evil)?

Mark 3:31+  Yeshua seems to ignore his family’s request to see Him.  He must have known they were there to restrain Him. (v21)

Mark 4:12  One may wonder why Yeshua spoke in parables to keep people in the dark.  This is part of a plan to bring in the fullness of the Gentiles as elaborated on elsewhere in scripture.  They also needed to crucify Him to fulfill His purpose.

Mark 5  The account of the man with the legion is amazing.  It even caused the people to not want Yeshua around.

Mark 5:43  Yeshua gives strict orders not to tell anyone of the girl’s resurrection.  One would think it would be obvious to anyone seeing her.

Mark 6:6  Does familiarity breed contempt?

Mark 7  The Greek woman was equated with dogs by Yeshua.  Was this a respector of persons, or simply a plan to start with Israel, which was later expanded by Paul and others to the Gentiles?

Mark 10:13-16  Yeshua was showing how to receive the kingdom through the example of receiving the children with open arms.  Unless we welcome the kingdom of God like He received the children, we will not enter it.  (A different perspective than becoming like little children.)

Mark 11:24  Footnotes for other manuscripts:  “believe that you have received”,  “believe that you receive”, “believe that you will receive”  This changes the way one might think about faith/belief.

Mark 11:25  Important Key:  Forgiving others is necessary for our own forgiveness.

Next Reading:  Week 43  Mark 13:1 to Luke 11:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week.

Do you see your prayers as a shopping list; things you need to get from God? Do you assume that if you aren’t getting the results you want you need to step up the effort? My word says that the effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man accomplishes much. Yet is this the only purpose for prayer? Have you noticed that before prayer changes your circumstances it changes you? Do you see this as a side effect or the main purpose?  Are you willing to change your paradigm and approach prayer as a means for your own transformation as opposed to getting what you want? Are you willing to pray for your own transformation with the same fervency you do for the things on your list?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Week 41 Bible Reading Review

Week 41  Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 26:1

Matt 8:5-13  Yeshua (Jesus) commends the centurion’s faith.  His faith in what is said or commanded will be carried out and accomplished.

Matthew reports an array of Yeshua’s miracles and how they are accomplished.  My take, nothing is too difficult and there is no formula.

Miracle examples:
Heal the sick
Calm the storm
Cast out demons
Forgive sins
Raise the dead
Heal blind and mute
Healing of “Every disease and sickness”
Walk on water
Multiplication of provisions

Examples of how healing occurred:
Healed by touch after a request
Healed over great distance by faith of another
Healed by touch without a request
Commanded healing without touch
Healed by touching Yeshua

Matt 9:30-31  It always seemed strange that Yeshua heals the blind men then instructs them not to tell anyone and they immediately disobey, yet wouldn’t it be obvious to many who knew them?

Matt 12:12  It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.

Matt 12:36-37  Our own words seal our fate.

Matt 15:28  The gentile woman with great faith did not give up or get discouraged but pursued Yeshua.

Matt 15:36  A clue on how the multiplication transpired.  Yeshua broke the bread and ‘kept’ on giving the bread and fish to the disciples to pass out.

Matt 16:18  I like Tod White’s interpretation of this verse.  It is not Peter that the church will be built upon, but His statement that Yeshua is the Messiah, that is the foundational rock of the church.

Matt 17:17  Is Yeshua rebuking of the unbelieving and rebellious generation referring to his disciples?  This is what I have previously thought and the HCSB commentary concurs.  But could this instead be referring to the suffering boy’s father and those like him?  I have heard it said that a demon can not enter a child unless given permission by a parent's actions.

Matt 18:35   Forgive others if you want to be forgiven.

Matt 21:7  Did Yeshua sit on both a donkey and a colt at the same time?  Other gospels only mention one animal.

Matt 23:23  May we all remember the more important matters of justice, mercy and faith!

Matt 24:36  This passage is referred to by many as evidence of a rapture.  Two in the field, one taken…  But read carefully, as in the days of Noah who was taken and who was left behind?  Which do you want to be?

Next Reading:  Week 42  Matthew 26:1 to Mark 13:1

My wife and I have added the following admonishment to our prayer time.  Leave a comment if you will be joining too!

Recently, as I thought about the Islamic influence that has quickly and resolutely infiltrated our nation, I asked the Lord how to specifically pray about it. 

The Lord spoke and said that five times a day the Islamic prayers and declarations released into the atmosphere are in agreement with the enemy, giving him legal ground to advance his evil plan on this nation. The consistent, unified Islamic prayers and the declarations of special interest groups, whose agenda is contrary to God’s Word, currently outweigh the voices of the people of the Kingdom of God.

The Lord also said that if His Remnant would declare aloud that He is the one true God even just once a day, then an acknowledgment of His sovereignty would be released into the airways EVERY MINUTE OF THE DAY! 

An example of a declaration: 

Yahweh God, the great I Am, He alone is God, there is none beside Him. Jesus, His only begotten Son is our Savior, the Lord of lords, and King of kings, the One who was, who is and is to come. All glory, praise, honor, majesty, splendor and dominion is His forever and ever.

It is time that we, the Remnant, the called out ones of the Body of Jesus Christ, release our voice, the breath of our Creator, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and declare who the one true God is over this nation. Our collective voice has more power than any other and will supersede the voices aligned with the enemy.

Father God has spoken;  we can take back the airways over this nation that belong to us by the victory of the cross of Christ Jesus. Airways that are permeated with ungodly chants, statements, decrees, invocations and threats. We must mobilize and use our most powerful weapon, the Word of God, and by our spoken word, nullify the decrees of darkness and take back our nation in the name of our redeemer Jesus, the King and Lord of America!

I call you, brothers and sisters, to take the Lord God at His word; declare Him as the one true God and fill the atmosphere with His praise at least once a day. Ask the Holy Spirit to remind you or set a reminder on your smart phone. 

Together, the gates of hell will not prevail against us! (Matthew 16:18)

Sing out the honor of His name; make His praise glorious! Say to God, how awesome are Your works! Through the greatness of Your power Your enemies will submit themselves to You! (Psalm 66:2-3)

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Week 40 Bible Reading Review

Week 40  Haggai 1:1 to Matthew 8:1

Hag 1  Even though the people did what should have been sufficient for their needs, God caused lack (v9).  Does God’s kingdom get ignored while we work on our own today?

Hag 2:17  When things go wrong in our lives, do we turn to God?  Does the “size” of the trouble affect our response?  We might consider troubles as not being under His blessing and turn to God to find out why.

Zec 8:16  God’s short list on what the returning remnant were to do: speak truth, make true decisions, do not plot evil or love perjury.

Zec 14  In the end times this chapter clearly shows that the feast of Sukkot will still be celebrated in Jerusalem during the time when Messiah is fulfilling this festival.

Mal 1:3  “I (God) hated Esau”…  Elsewhere in the Bible we are told to love our enemies, also that God is not a respecter of persons.  I have been taught that ‘hated’ here means ‘not preferred’, yet hated is how it is translated and verse 4 emphasizes this conclusion.  Why is this?  In Psalm 103 it states God loves those who fear Him.  From this we might conclude that Esau did not fear God.

Mal 1  God expects our best.  Do we give him the best part of our time?  Do we serve others with our all as unto the Lord?  Is serving our King a burden to us?

Mal 3:17-18  It may seem the righteous perish and the wicked prosper, but God is preparing a day when justice will rule.

Matt 1:20  Wouldn’t it be awesome to have the Angel of the Lord tell you clearly what to do.  Joseph gets this benefit several times in the first part of Matthew.

Matt 2:8  Herod told the wise men to report back to him.  Their response is not recorded, giving me the conclusion that it was not held against them if they said they would.  Should our response to commitments always be:  “As God wills”?

Matt 3:10  We must produce good fruit.  This is the judgement stick we are to use.

Matt 4:18-22  If a stranger walked up to us while we were working on our job and said to follow him, would we drop everything and do it?  One would think there is more back story or a spiritual draw the disciple recruits experienced, perhaps it was an honor to these unlearned men to be asked to follow a ‘rabbi’.

Matt 5-7  The sermon on the mount.  Yeshua / Jesus raises the bar on a few commands, taking it to the heart level.  Admonishing humility and the seeking first of God’s kingdom and His righteousness, not the things of this world.  An excellent sermon that we should all frequently review.

Next Reading:  Week 41  Matthew 8:1 to Matthew 26:1

Instead of a blog post by Dale this week, I am going to share some notes I took from a message I recently listened to by Henry Gruver to hopefully provide for us a practical application of remitting sins we can use in our daily lives.

Henry has many fascinating testimonies of prayer walking.  He has walked in 54 countries and been doing this over the last 55 years.  One main teaching he does is on the remitting of sins. (John 20:23)

When you meet / see someone take your first thought of them to God.
If it is positive – Give thanks and pray God to multiply this in them.
If it is negative – Remit their sins (or repent of yours if need be).

Remitting of sins is asking God to forgive a person who is not repenting.  Upon doing this, God lifts the heavy load of condemnation off of the sinner, giving them a space of time to repent.  Next ask God to pour his goodness upon the person. (Romans 2:4)  It is the goodness of God that leads to lasting repentance.  Then pray God would send laborers into His harvest.

This is something we can implement in our lives and see what God does!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Week 39 Bible Reading Review

Week 39  Amos 1:1 to Haggai 1:1

Amos 4:6+  God lists several things He does to cause Israel to return to Him.  Would knowing God was causing our trials turn us toward or away from Him?  If we know why it should turn us toward Him.

Amos 5:4  “Seek Me and live!” v6 “Seek YHVH and live!”

Israel was being punished for their lack of justice and righteousness.

Amos 7:1-6  Amos request for mercy stops two severe judgments from happening.  The prayer of a righteous man avails much!

Obediah 15  God’s judgement on the nations will be as they deserve.

Jonah’s story seems surreal.  Did Jonah not want mercy shown to Nineveh because they were enemies of Israel?  Can we be merciful as God is to those we despise or are our enemies?

Micah 6:8  A good reminder:  What does God require of us?  Act justly, love faithfulness / mercy, and walk humbly before our God.

Nah 1:2  God’s primary character of love also includes by extension jealousy and vengeance!

Hab 3:2  “In Your wrath, remember mercy”

Zep 1:3, 18, 3:8  At least 3 passages that state God will destroy all flesh from the earth, yet 3:9+ speaks of restoration.  Which is it?  This makes literal interpretation of some scriptures difficult.

Zep 2:3  Seek God, righteousness, and humility, perhaps you will be concealed from His wrath.

Zep 3:5  Proper perspective:  “The Lord is the righteous one who does no wrong.”

Next Reading:  Week 40  Haggai 1:1 to Matthew 8:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week.

Even when you drive somewhere with total focus on getting to your destination, you don’t lock the steering wheel in place. In like manner when you follow me with all your heart with singleness of purpose the process involves continual course corrections. Do not be discouraged if it seems that you move in one direction and are then brought back to center. You are still making progress and you have things to learn from every segment of your path. Do you see your one true objective to follow me? Do you see that I lead you every step of the way, and that seeming course changes are a part of my purpose and plan?

Friday, September 23, 2016

Week 38 Bible Reading Review

Week 38  Daniel 7:1 to Amos 1:1

Dan 10:13  An example of spiritual warfare:  God’s messenger was delayed, but would the message still come if Daniel did not continue to seek the answer the 3 weeks?

Hosea 6:1-3  God’s hand is evident in shaping and molding the people, even if it was a trial by fire followed by healing.

Hosea 11:8  Here God states he changes His heart and shows compassion.

The book of Hosea seems to be another emotional roller-coaster ride.

Joel 2:28  The pouring out of God’s Spirit occurs “After this” which in context sounds like after the day of the Lord?  This would be different timing then I had thought / been taught, hopefully I am wrong on this for we definitely will need his Spirit during this time.

Next Reading  Week 39  Amos 1:1 to Haggai 1:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week.

I taught that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Do you think this applies to everything? What about words? Have you ever encountered someone who was generous with their words, even if they were not desired, to the point of being wearisome or annoying? It is not gracious to dominate a conversation. In keeping with the paradigm of giving, you can think of listening as another form of giving. Don’t you feel ministered to by those who will listen to you and hear your story? They feel the same way and you can minister life to them by receiving their words. You can minister to me the same way and receive the words of life

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Week 37 Bible Reading Review

Week 37  Ezekiel 38:1 to Daniel 7:1

Eze 39:9  This massive battle is typically understood to be in the future.  Why are the weapons described as old tech?  Modern steel weapons would not burn.

Eze 39:28  The real left behind story of Israel.  V40+  Ezekiel writes down the details of the New Temple vision.  Either he wrote it down as he saw it, had amazing memory, or God later dictated everything again.

Eze 41:18+  Carved cherubim images in the temple.  There was also woven cherubim in the tabernacle and cherubim statues on the ark of the covenant.  How do these not negate the no graven image from the 10 commandments?  Looking at the Hebrew, the two English words "Graven Image" come from one Hebrew word "pecel" (H6459) which gives the strong's definition of "an idol" which would not negate the commandment if the images were not idolized.

Eze 44:19  Holiness could transmit through the priests clothes. 46:20 also through offerings.  How ignorant are we of the properties of holiness, or even sin?

Dan 2:9  A brilliant move by the king to test the wise people with asking what the dream was as well as the interpretation.

Dan 3:16-18  Daniel’s 3 companions give a great response:  My God can deliver us, but even if not, we will not serve other gods.

Dan 4,5  God dramatically humbles these two kings.  Not just for their sake, but also for those in their vast kingdom and people who later learn their story.

Dan 6  Do we consider people’s motives before agreeing to their requests?  Daniel, knowing of the decree against serving his God did not fear or wavier or alter his habits.  May we be as bold and do the same when our faith and God is challenged.

Next Reading  Week 38  Daniel 7:1 to Amos 1:1

Wisdom for the week

There were several good post to choose from.  Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week. 

If you forget something your friends may encourage you by saying, ‘it will come to you’. You may use similar words regarding yourself. Note that this concept and terminology are slightly different from saying that you will remember it. Saying it will come to you implies that it comes from without rather than within. Could this be true? What is the source of thoughts and ideas? I promised to send you the Comforter to bring all things into remembrance. This certainly refers to the truth of the Kingdom of God, but the promise implies more than that. You may be getting more help than you realize. If you need help remembering something, ask me and see what happens.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Week 36 Bible Reading Review

Week 36  Ezekiel 20:1 to Ezekiel 38:1

Eze 20  The phrase “the person who does them will live by them” is repeated multiple times.  Another way to say this: “obeying God brings life”.

An interesting note from the HCSB on the child sacrifices shows this was done for selfish motives:  “According to pagan perception, sacrifices made to a god put that god in your debt, such that he or she was bound to act favorably toward you.”

Eze 20:31  Serving other gods cuts you of from hearing from YHVH!  Consider this if you are not hearing from Him.

Eze 20:49  The people thought Ezekiel’s prophecy was posing riddles.  Do we ignore prophets of today?  Do we even know who His true prophets are today?

Eze 21  Why does God cut off the righteous with the wicked?  There must be a point where their sins are too great?  We should not think God will spare our country for the righteous sake!

It seems God directed the Babylonian king through his divination.  God can influence or direct anyone whether or not they acknowledge Him in any way He chooses.

Eze 24:15  God takes out Ezekiel’s wife for a parallel lesson for Israel.  Although this seems a cruel and harsh punishment for the man of God, It may have been a merciful way to go, for only a few verses before in the same chapter Nebuchadnezzar just laid siege to the nation and terrible times were at the door.

Eze 25  Because other nations rejoiced at Israel’s demise they were severely punished.  We are not to take pleasure in other’s struggles.

Eze 28  Why is the king of Tyre given similitude to Satan?

God gave Ezekiel many prophesies of doom for the surrounding nations, some of which he just spoke in the general direction, ending with "so they will know that I am Yahweh".  Were these prophecies widely dispersed among the people of these nations?  How would they know that their destruction would prove who Yahweh was, especially for those killed in the process?  Perhaps the “they” also refers to future Bible readers?

Eze 33:11  Again we are reminded after several chapters of doom that God does not take pleasure in the destruction of the wicked, but that He would rather they repent.  May we also have this same heart for those that persecute us.

Eze 36  In God’s mercy He restores Israel for His name sake, giving them a heart to obey Him.

Eze 27  This chapter is hard to know what is real and what is figurative.  Will people literally be pulled from graves and brought back to Israel?  Will David literally be resurrected and put over the Nation of Israel once again?  Are the people who have been in exile and following their own ways equivalent to dead men and is the mention of David referring to a descendant or one like him or perhaps Yeshua?  One might think this is during the 1000 year reign, but it uses the word forever here which adds to the confusion.

Next Reading: Week 37  Ezekiel 38:1 to Daniel 7:1

Wisdom for the week

Why is it easier and faster to tear down than to build up, both physically and spiritually?  It is easy to get discouraged when things are in ruin around us. Just as we generally appreciate and value more things that take more effort and energy to accomplish and maintain in the physical, we should likewise appreciate and work harder for things that are of value in the spiritual and to not grow weary in well doing. (Galatians 6:9)

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week. 

Even if you follow my teaching to be generous to those in need, you have a limited amount of money and are surrounded by a seemingly unlimited amount of need. So you have to make some choices. Do you draw a strong distinction between those who are deserving and those who are not? If you do then what you intended as an act of charity becomes an act of judgment. What alternative approach is available? My word declares that those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. I may want you to give to those who seem the least deserving, but if you follow my lead you will have enough to meet the needs I show you.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Week 35 Bible Reading Review

Week 35  Lamentations 1:1 to Ezekiel 20:1

Lam 3:31-33  These verses attempt to show God’s true nature, primarily loving and compassionate, not enjoying bringing suffering or affliction on mankind.  A good thing to remember in the midst of difficult times.

Lamentations is written with emotion, sometimes going between extremes of "woe is me" to "God is destroying us" to "we have sinned – repent and return to the Lord".  The destruction of Jerusalem was surely horrific.

Ezekiel’s first vision of God’s living creature chariot sounds amazing.  God gave Ezekiel His marching orders. He had a huge witness and incentive to obey!

Eze 3:14  What was the reason for Ezekiel’s bitterness and anger?  Being told they wouldn’t listen to him?  Being hardened? Being called?  For what he ate?  The text doesn’t give a reason, but this might be why he remained silent and did not speak to the people at first.

Ezekiel remained silent / stunned for seven days.  God put him back on task with a warning of blood guilt if he didn’t speak His words.  To ensure this, God shut Ezekiel up except to speak His words.

Eze 4  I used to think Ezekiel remained on his side the entire time (more than 1 year).  But I am now thinking that it was just during the time he slept.  God supernaturally kept him from rolling over in his sleep.  He still might have had to sleep out in the open during this time.

Eze 5:11-13; 6:8-10  These passages talk about the severe judgment God brings on Israel and why.  God expresses His anger and wrath (v13) which stemmed from  His jealousy. The second portion I highlighted paints a picture of that jealousy (v9) as a jealousy of a betrayed lover, expressing hurt because of a promiscuous spouse.  These things we should take to heart and consider how we treat our God.  Is He first in our lives and above all else?  Or does spending time with Him take a back seat to how we are feeling or our list of things to get done?  Has our hobby, or perhaps our job become our god in terms of priority and devotion?  Maybe if we consider that these actions are causing our God to become jealous then we would want to reprioritize our life.  If we continue to provoke Him to jealousy with our heart and actions, then we should not expect a different fate for ourselves than that of these Israelites.  Maybe we don’t see our Creator as our lover.  Well then, consider Him our sustainer.  Without Him we would not exist.  Let us be cognizant of where our heart is and what we might be idolizing.  Time is a valid love language that we need to use wisely.  Seek Him with your whole heart.

Eze 7:19  Israel’s stumbling blocks that brought about their downfall:  satisfying their appetite and filling their stomach.  How many of us pursue these more than God today?

Eze 7:27  How would we fair if dealt with according to our own conduct and judged by our own standards?

Eze 9  Ezekiel’s vision of slaughter at Jerusalem closely parallels the future account in Revelation.

Eze 10  God’s glory has left the temple and city then proceeded to the mount of olives. (11:23)  Does this mean that the temple mount is no longer holy ground?

Eze 12  The people say “the days pass by and every vision fails”.  I can understand this as many prophecies today of America’s downfall (ie Dumitru Duduman, Henry Gruver) were given many years ago and people probably think the same thing as well.  Has the urgency to repent and seek God faded?

Eze 14:4  There is an important principle in this verse.  God answers us according to our idols.  So if we don’t remove our own idols, we will hear incorrectly from God.

Eze 14:9  God says He is the one who deceives the prophet (lying spirit).  But the more important lesson in 14 is to not have idols in our heart.  This brought destruction to the people.

Ezekiel gave God’s prophecies of doom as a witness to the survivors to know that YHVH is God.

Eze 14:21+  This passage is interesting and my take is that when Ezekiel sees the improved character of the remnant that survived the devastation, he will see the reason for God’s actions.  Trial and refinement by fire.  This principle gets repeated and will be repeated again in the great tribulation.

Eze 16:4  New born babies were rubbed with salt?  I wonder what benefits this has.

Eze 18:2  The interpretation of this proverb:  “The fathers eat sour grapes,
and the children’s teeth are set on edge” indicates to me that the people thought God was punishing them for their father's sins.  This interpretation makes sense to me when read in context and also considering Exodus 34:7 where God previously said  He would “visit the iniquity” of the parents to the third and fourth generation.  I read this verse in Exodus in several different translations and it seems that it can be taken different ways.  Either God is punishing the children for their parent's sins or they are suffering the consequences of that sin.  Perhaps this is why this proverb came about and God wanted to make it clear that the one who sins dies for their sins.  Reading on in this chapter God also makes it clear that the way one ends in life matters more than how they started.

Eze 18:32  The end of the mater in this chapter:  God takes no pleasure in anyone’s death, but desires repentance for life!

Next Reading:  Week 36  Ezekiel 20:1 to Ezekiel 38:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week. 

Do you think the world you see is real, and the Kingdom of God is ethereal? How many people do you know who live in a world of false mental constructs? Perceptions can be incorrect, and people can structure their whole lives around dream world fantasies. You can see this clearly in others. Could you be one of them? Would you know if you were? I opened the eyes of the blind in my time on earth, and had much more to say about the condition of those who were spiritually blind and deaf. The gospel message is an invitation to open your eyes and live in the real world even before you address the question of which world will endure and which will pass away.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Message of Interest - Henry Gruver Interview

Below is a couple of links (part 1 and 2) of a recent interview with Henry Gruver speaking.
In the interview Henry tells of an amazing miracle involving dragonflies in Taiwan.  He also relays his experience with gold dust which I found interesting and follows up with a telling of an amazing teleportation event that happened to him and 6 others back in 1988.  Definitely worth a listen and it should encourage you to get closer to God!    Part 1   Part 2

Week 34 Bible Reading Review

Week 34  Jeremiah 36:1 to Lamentations 1:1

Jer 36:4  Jeremiah dictates God’s past words from memory?  Impressive!

Jer 36:19  Some people believed Jeremiah, but the king did not, thus bringing down Israel.  This shows that the leader has great effect on the nation.

Jer 38:26  The king tells Jeremiah what to say when questioned, which was truthful, thus allowing Jeremiah to maintain integrity.

Jer 39  It seems king Nebuchadnezzar knew of Jeremiah and spared him.  This Showed God’s hand of protection, God spared Ebed-melech and Jeremiah for trusting in Him.

Jer 42:5  Although the people sought God through Jeremiah, they still rejected His counsel.  Why didn’t the people follow God’s instruction?  Perhaps fear ruled their life and they were not accustomed to obeying God, but doing what seems right in their own eyes.

It took 10 days for Jeremiah to get an answer from God.  Do we have the patience to wait on the Lord?  Jeremiah didn’t just get an answer for the people, he also knew their response.

Jer 53  Why did the people say Baruch was behind Jeremiah’s “lies”?  Stranger still, why would they take Baruch and Jeremiah with them to Egypt?  Perhaps this was God extending mercy to the remnant by not cutting them of from His prophet.

Jer 44:15+  It seems the people were short sighted, believing their past experience over God’s prophet.  They had a disconnect from cause and effect.  How many times do we also mistake God’s mercy and patience for his acceptance of our behavior?

Jer 45  Baruch was despondent for no stated reason.  Simply the state of the nation would be enough.  God grants him protection for his service.

Jer 45+  The remaining chapters are prophecies of doom and destruction on other nations.  All people will be judged.

It seems a primary reason why Babylon is destroyed is because they destroyed Jerusalem and God’s temple, which was God’s will as prophesied by Jeremiah.  Why then would this be reason to destroy Babylon?  There are plenty of other reasons to suffice.  Perhaps David knew of this principle and would not take out Saul, even though God had passed the kingdom to David.

Next Reading:  Week 35  Lamentations 1:1 to Ezekiel 20:1

Wisdom for the week

Here is my choice post from Dale Cresap from this past week.  May we all take the time to know Him!

My word tells you to be still and know that I am God. This implies that there is a connection between stillness and knowing. Is this how you know other things? A diligent search for knowledge implies proactive involvement. You have many resources available to you for all the facts in the world. Yet knowing me is different. This is a journey in which you make greater progress by slowing down and calming down. The world and its distractions and your own racing thoughts are too prominent in your awareness. If you want to know the author of life, release those things and I will come to you.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Week 33 Bible Reading Review

Week 33  Jeremiah 16:1 to Jeremiah 36:1

Jer 16:1-4  There are times and places where even God tells people not to get married and have children.  This is a perspective change in my understanding of God.

Jer 16:5  God removed his peace, love, and compassion. This is disastrous for the rebels.  In v15 His compassion will return, but many generations later.

Jer 17:4  “My anger will burn forever”.  This idea conflicts with other verses showing future compassion.  Other translations read similar, but for some reason the LXX (Septuagint) does not have verses 1-4 of chapter 17.

Jer 17:7-8  The man who trusts in the Lord is contrasted with the one who does not.  Verse 8 gives an excellent word picture of a tree and lesson in how to trust in God.  Trusting in God is being void of fear regardless of the day’s trials or “heat”, and no worry is found despite the long term tribulations or “drought” that may come.  It does not stop you from producing His fruit!  This example was more profound to me than the “just trust God” cliché.

Jer 17:10  Yahweh tests the mind and heart, to give us according to what our actions deserve.  Do we truly believe this?  If so our actions should reflect this.

Jer 18:8-10  A pronounced judgement from God can be adverted whether good or bad!

Jer 18:18+  Jeremiah did not ask for mercy for his enemies, but retribution.  Despite this, his words aligned with God’s judgements given.

Jer 20  Jeremiah, like Job, cursed his own birth, showing severe stress and strain that he endured in life.  I have it so easy…  There is no recorded response from God here.

Jer 21:8-9  Even though complete destruction of Israel was eminent, God provided a way of escape through surrender to the invaders, an act of mercy even still.

Jer 22:2  More ways of escape from pending doom were given.  Simply administer justice and righteousness to avoid calamity of the nation.

Jer 22:16  Many will say that our purpose in life is to know God, but few teach how to actually accomplish this.  This verse gives a starting point to those struggling to know Him, as well as a check point to those who think they do.  To know God is to administer justice and righteousness.  As we strive to walk daily in justice and righteousness (weightier matters of the law) we will need to depend on Him.  Study His word and ask Him to show us how to administer this in each situation we face, which in turn will develop our relationship and deepen our knowing of Him.

Jer 23  In this chapter God chastises the false prophets who speak their own words and lead His people astray.  With that definition, teachers of today might be as guilty, speaking their own words, and leading people astray from the Creator with the story of evolution for example.  How many others do similar things today?  Saying God said something when He did not is perhaps worse yet.

Jer 25:9  God calls Nebuchadnezzar His servant, while pronouncing future judgement on Babylon.  Would “My tool” be a more apt title?

Jer 26  The people wanted to kill Jeremiah because they didn’t like God’s message he was speaking.  Despite all of this, Jeremiah offered God’s way of escape.  The debate that ensued resulted in Jeremiah’s release as well as his words being heard by many.  How do we respond to hard words of correction?

Jer 27  Jeremiah also prophesied to surrounding kings and nations.  Hananiah died for prophesying something not from God.  This should make anyone not sure of what they heard think twice before claiming it is “the word of the Lord”.

Jer 29  God continues to show mercy to the exiles (because they had obeyed, Jer 21:8-9) with a 70 year promised restoration.

Jer 30:24  The Lord’s burning anger will not turn back until He has completely fulfilled the purpose of His heart.  This gives the conclusion to my note from 17:4 above and reemphasizes a principle in Bible interpretation.  One must take the whole of scripture to get the complete picture, understanding, and instruction.  Sometimes parts are left out in places, but this does not negate the words given in other places.  For example, we cannot teach that whatever we ask for in His name we will receive, without the inclusion that it be according to His will.

Jer 30  Prophesies of restoration are given, but not for the immediate audience.  Could the people grasp this or did they think it would happen in their day?

Jer 31  God speaks of the nation of Israel as a single person or unit despite the passage of much time over many generations, it is still as one body to Him.  It is easy for us to separate ourselves from those around us and be disconnected or think that what we do doesn’t affect anyone else.  Perhaps we should learn from this example, that we are part of a whole and our goal should be unity in the body as well as perfection of ourselves.

Jer 31:33  A new covenant is declared:  God’s laws to be written on hearts.  Jer 32:40  God puts the fear of Himself in people’s hearts so they will not turn away.  This could be talking about the same thing.  We should be able to ask Him to write His laws on our hearts and fill us with the fear of Him as this is needed.

Jer 33  Repeatedly in this section God speaks of destruction followed by restoration.  The restoration was needed for the coming of Messiah, both His first and second coming.

Jer 35  The Rekabites were honored by God and made as an example for not drinking wine as their ancestor had instructed, (among other significant lifestyle changing things) while Israel was chastised for not obeying God.  Why is it often easier for us to obey man (our boss, etc.) rather than God?  Is it because cause and effect seem more real / imminent with men then God?  Or because obeying God can bring persecution from man which we want to avoid?

Jeremiah was a bold / brave man in my opinion.  He delivered God’s hard messages to men and kings.  He did not appear to doubt / second guess what he heard from God, even calling out other “prophets” as false who opposed him to his face.  Well done!  May we all be more like Jeremiah!

Next Reading:  Week 34  Jeremiah 36:1 to Lamentations 1:1

Friday, August 12, 2016

Week 32 Bible Reading Review

The house of Israel / Judah no longer had Yahweh's covering during Jeremiah's time.

Week 32  Isaiah 59:1 to Jeremiah 16:1

Jer 1  Jeremiah’s purpose and destiny was clear from a youth. Given to him by God himself, even though he didn’t want to do this calling, he was obedient.  The vision questions God asked sound like training for Jeremiah’s spiritual eyes.  Then he was told to speak His judgements, more training and testing.

Jer 2:3  The first fruits are YHVH’s.  Guilt and disaster comes to those who eat of it.  Is this the consequence to the former command?  Do we consider this command today?

Jer 2:6,8  In two verses the question “Where is the Lord?” is no longer asked. This happens when we give up and quit seeking Him and go our own way.  Have we stopped asking this question?

Jer 7:16 (11:14)  There is a point when prayer is not effective, when it is opposed to God’s will / command.

Jer 7:20 (13:14)  The wrath of God is not to be dismissed for a God of only love.

Jer 7:22-23  It seems burnt offerings and sacrifices were added / commanded because of iniquities.  Disobedience brings more rules.

Jer 9:3  The people went about their own ways and did not consider God in their actions.  This is a natural progression of no longer asking “Where is the Lord?”

Jer 10:25  Flesh circumcision / obedience is not sufficient.  We must also be circumcised / obedient in the heart!

Jer 11  The people wanted to kill Jeremiah so that they didn’t have to hear God, resulting in their demise.  Don’t shut out words just because we don’t like what they are saying, but examine them in humility.

Jeremiah delivered God’s words to the people, despite persecution for God's hard words.  He struggled with God through the trials.  God promised deliverance in obedience.  We can learn from this that obedience is not always the easy path, but it is the best road.

Next Reading:  Week 33  Jeremiah 16:1 to Jeremiah 36:1

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Week 31 Bible Reading Review

Week 31  Isaiah 31:1 to Isaiah 59:1

Isaiah reads like a collection of shorter writings, not in chronological order.

Isa 37:21  Reminds us again to always bring all things to God.

Isa 46  We may not have golden idols today, but what in our lives takes the place of God?  Our job, our accomplishments, our possessions, our selves or other people?

Isa 53  This chapter foretells the role of Yeshua / Jesus on earth. Yet much of it is given in a past tense, giving the impression that it is as good as done.  The narrator also changes, for example, as shown by He vs My.  (Isaiah vs God)  - giving a more authoritative position.

Next Reading: Week 32  Isaiah 59:1 to Jeremiah 16:1

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Week 30 Bible Reading Review

Week 30  Isaiah 1:1 to Isaiah 31:1

Isaiah 2  The picture painted of Judah also fits the US and other nations.

Isaiah 9:10  This verse was quoted by US leaders after 9-11.  Did people read the context?

Isaiah 10  Shows God will judge wicked nations. We shouldn’t think we are safe from His judgement.

Isaiah 11  Yeshua’s reign will cause animal behavior changes.  This may not be worldwide as I have previously thought / been taught, but localized to Jerusalem as a witness to the world.

Isaiah 20:3  Isaiah was naked and barefoot for 3 years?  Was this in the winter too?  Would we be able to obey in such a way?  I wonder others treated him.

Isaiah 21:16  Some of Isaiah’s prophesies had a definite time frame.  This was a way people could test his words but it also tested Isaiah's faith too.

Isaiah 24  Those who think the end times only affects Israel should read this chapter.

Isaiah 26:9-10  An important principle to keep in mind while reading this book:  Judgements teach righteousness, favor to the wicked does not.

Next Reading:  Week 31  Isaiah 31:1 to Isaiah 59:1

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Week 29 Bible Reading Review

Week 29  Proverbs 18:1 to Isaiah 1:1

The book of Proverbs is good to read for someone desiring to be wise / righteous.

Eccl 5:5  Is there an advantage to vowing if one fulfills it over none at all?

The book of Ecclesiastes is another melancholy book.  It might be easy for one to conclude that what they do doesn’t really matter since “all is vanity”.  I think this is why we are admonished in the NT to store up treasures in heaven, since earthly treasures pass away.  If our focus is on ourselves, our accomplishments, or our possessions, then we will likely be disappointed.  Dying to self and serving our Creator and His will for our life is really the only goal worth pursuing.

Song of Songs, reads like a play. Why is it part of the Bible?  Chap 5:7  The guards beat and wound the woman, taking her clothes.  Then the play continues on like this wasn’t a big deal?  The man (Solomon) goes missing multiple times in the text.  Perhaps he is with another of his many wives.

Week 30  Isaiah 1:1 to Isaiah 31:1

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Week 28 Bible Reading Review

Week 28  Psalm 120:1 to Proverbs 18:1

Some psalms show praise for God in times of blessing, others show wonder where He is in times of trouble.  Does God change?  Maybe we just need to change our perspective.  A good goal would be to have peace in all circumstances, with faith in Him at all times.

Psalm 137:9  Would killing innocent babies, even if in retaliation, make one happy?  Another example that not all scriptures contain advisable behavior.

Psalm 141  The psalmist asks for correction and rebuke if needed.  Many proverbs as well say a wise man heeds rebuke as he knows the end result is for the best.  How readily do we accept correction?

Proverbs (1:7, 9:10)  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom and knowledge.  (8:13)  To fear the Lord is to hate evil.

Proverbs 10+  Many one verse proverbs, mainly contrasting the wise / righteous person with the fool / evil one.

Next Reading:  Week 28  Psalm 120:1 to Proverbs 18:1

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Week 27 Bible Reading Review

Week 27  Psalm 79:1 to Psalm 120:1

Psalm 110  A Messianic psalm that the HCSB notes says is the most frequently cited psalm in the New Testament.

Psalm 111:10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow His instructions have good insight. His praise endures forever.   To fear the Lord is to follow His instructions.

Psalm 119  This long psalm, near the center of the Bible, exalts God’s word and instructions to us and the following thereof, not a thing to do away with (v89).

Psalm 112:7-8  He (the righteous man) will not fear bad news; his heart is confident, trusting in the Lord. His heart is assured; he will not fear…  Do you live without fear?

To go along with my previous comment I read a blog post this week that I thought would be good to share entitled “5 Enemy Entry Points You Probably Haven't Thought Of”.  Below are the 5 points.

1) Harboring Anger
2) Indulging in Anxiety
3) Entertaining Fear
4) Withholding Forgiveness
5) Accepting False Guilt

To read further details about each point and how we can be victorious you can find the blog post here.

Next Reading:  Week 28  Psalm 120:1 to Proverbs 18:1

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 26 Bible Reading Review

Week 26  Psalm 35:1 to Psalm 79:1

Reading through some psalms is like a roller coaster ride with sometimes seemingly contradictory statements, even within the same psalm.  (God saves me / God rejects me (44))

Some of the psalms sound vindictive.  Easy to say, not being in the same position but just contrasting it with the NT teachings to turn the other check and loving your enemies. (35)

Many psalms and portions of psalms provide lyrics for modern day songs.  How many do you notice as you read through?

Psalm 44:6  “For I do not trust in my bow, and my sword does not bring me victory.”  How much do we rely on our possessions, money, tools, self…  It is so easy to place our trust in the wrong thing, but it is God who is the true source of victory.

Psalm 73 is a good reminder that things are not always as they appear from our perspective.  We need His perspective and understanding to make a righteous decision.

Next Reading:  Week 27  Psalm 79:1 to Psalm 120:1

Friday, June 24, 2016

Week 25 Bible Reading Review

Week 25  Job 33:1 to Psalm 35:1

Job 41 Leviathan = Dragon?

Job 42  Once confronted by God Himself, Job wisely repents of his words and accusations against God.  This book should show us we are not able to judge God.  If we hold anything against Him, we should repent and forgo such thinking.

Job 42:7  God still refers to Job as His servant when addressing Job’s 3 friends.

Job 42:10  It is important to note that Job was restored AFTER he prayed for his friends.  Had he refused, I contend he would not have been restored.

Psalm 2  This psalm contains Son which is capitalized, indicating it is referring to Yeshua.  God’s tolerance for rebellion will be minimal during the millennium. (Yeshua’s 1000 year reign on earth as King.)

Psalm 32  Two things I noticed reading this psalm.
1. God removes the guilt of the psalmist’s sin.  (this was written pre Yeshua)
2. This psalm is an example of 2 way journaling.  The psalmist writes both his and God’s words as dictated by Him. (verse 8+)

Next Reading:  Week 26  Psalm 35:1 to Psalm 79:1

Friday, June 17, 2016

Week 24 Bible Reading Review

Week 24  Ester 9:1 to Job 33:1

The book of Job seems quite melancholy…  Job underwent extreme testing.  Was this recorded as an example for the majority of us so we realize our circumstance really are not that bad?

Job 1  The first attack on Job came from 4 fronts simultaneously.  This would be enough to overwhelm most people as it was complete devastation on all fronts.

Job 2  The second attack on Job was on all his flesh and mind.  (boils, terror dreams)

Job 4  The third attack on Job came from his wife, friends and other people who no longer respected him.

Job’s friends sat for 7 days in silence.  Is there anyone who would / could do this today?

My assessment from the council from Job’s friends is that they saw how Job was suffering and jumped to the conclusion that it must have been his fault for the circumstance he was in. Their advice was not necessarily wrong or incorrect as much as it was not helpful to Job’s true situation.

Job 16:5  Job wanted encouragement from his friends rather than accusations.  How do we counsel others having difficulty?

Job 32:1  Job’s problem is stated in this verse:  he was righteous in his own eyes.

Job 32:8  God is the true source of wisdom and we should always seek His counsel.

Next Reading:  Week 25  Job 33:1 to Psalm 35:1

Monday, June 13, 2016

Message of Interest - Knowing God

Knowing God Rather Than Just Knowing About God

Many sermons and discussions tend to talk about God and various aspects of scripture, but too few explain the importance and how to of knowing Him.

Inspired by a message by “Bill Cloud”

Establish the importance of knowing Him!

(John 17:1-3) When Yeshua had finished saying these things, he looked upward to heaven and said, “Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, so that your Son may glorify you – just as you have given him authority over all humanity, so that he may give eternal life to everyone you have given him. Now this is eternal life – that they know you, the only true God, and Yeshua Messiah, whom you sent.

This knowing is an intimate knowing (like husband and wife type of relationship).  Not a head knowledge that can puff us up, but a heart knowledge. We can show up for church on all the right days, send in our tithes, spend our time looking just right, even perform miracles, but still not know Him.

 (Matt 7:21-23) “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter into the kingdom of heaven – only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day, many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in your name, and in your name cast out demons and do many powerful deeds?’ Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you. Go away from me, you lawbreakers!’

 (Matt 23:23) “Woe to you, experts in the law and you Pharisees, hypocrites! You give a tenth of mint, dill, and cumin, yet you neglect what is more important (or weightier) in the law – justice, mercy, and faithfulness! You should have done these things without neglecting the others.

Weightier = More Glorious!  These require an intimate relationship with our God to be appropriated in our lives.  These are matters of the heart, and we need His heart in us to develop in righteousness.

Is knowing Him my priority?  How well do I know Him?  How would you grade yourself in this area?

True Knowing = Oneness

 (John 5:19) So Yeshua answered them, “I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.
(John 14:7) If you have known me, you will know my Father too...

(John 17:21-23) “I am not praying only on their behalf, but also on behalf of those who believe in me through their testimony, that they will all be one, just as you, Father, are in me and I am in you. I pray that they will be in us, so that the world will believe that you sent me. The glory you gave to me I have given to them, that they may be one just as we are one – I in them and you in me – that they may be completely one, so that the world will know that you sent me, and you have loved them just as you have loved me.

What is important to Him becomes important to us if He is in us.
Are we one?  Are we in the Father and Yeshua in us?  Are we one with each other?  How can we all be one in the Father and Son, yet divided amongst ourselves?

Seeking His Face

We can’t truly know someone and be like them only by learning about them.  We must seek their face, to be in their presence continually.  It is through this interaction, by spending much time through different circumstances that we begin to know others, to know their heart.

  • But if you seek the LORD your God from there, you will find him, if, indeed, you seek him with all your heart and soul. (Deut 4:29)
  • Now seek the LORD your God wholeheartedly and with your entire being! … (1Chr 22:19)
  • Blessed are they that keep his testimonies, and that seek him with the whole heart. (Ps 119:2)
  • And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart. (Jer 29:13)
  • “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you. (Matt 7:7)

Practical Application for how to seek to know Him better

  • Look for God in creation.   Instead of just taking life for granted as it passes by, one should slow down and consider the artist.  Consider the Creator as we enjoy His creation all around us.
  • Seek God’s council / direction for the challenges we face.  God is not just our Creator, but also the Master Mechanic for His creation.  Even if we think “I got this one”, which proved to be a grave mistake for some of the kings we read about in the Bible, it is always better to seek His will in all things.
  • Look for the Creator’s “fingerprints” in my circumstances.   It is easy to chalk up the cause of my circumstances to time and chance, or as a result of other's choices and actions, but we should consider what our responsibility is for our situation.  What is God teaching us?  What is He working on in our life?  This will not only show us where we need to repent, or where we need to press on, but also is another way to seek Him and His heart for us!
  • Humbly Seek God at all times. Seek Him in time of need with prayer and supplication.  This usually isn’t too hard for us as we tend to do it by default when we run out of options.  But just as importantly, go to Him with thanksgiving and praise in our time of abundance.  Another downfall for several biblical kings, when they became proud and thought they had acquired their wealth and position on their own, was forgetting that God is the one who establishes as well as removes us.  Conversely some kings turned their back on God when they faced judgement, trial and hardship, which also stems from pride in oneself.  How do we compare to the kings?

To truly know Him, and not just know about Him, we must die to our self, our will, our thoughts, our words and our deeds.  As a true sacrifice we do NOT get to have it our way, but get to practice making it His way, which is always the best way because He knows all and always knows best!

(Rom 12:1) Therefore I exhort you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a sacrifice – alive, holy, and pleasing to God – which is your reasonable service.