Friday, January 29, 2016

Week 4 Bible Reading Review

Week 4  Exodus 13:1 to Exodus 33:1

Ex 3:15 The firstborn redemption is a strong reminder and foreshadowing that the blood of the lamb (Yeshua) is our redeemer.

Ex 14:5  A complete reversal, all of the Egyptians were Pharaoh's slaves after the famine during Joseph, now all Israel, who previously were honored guests, had become Pharaoh’s slaves instead.  Our own status in this country can easily be flipped as well.

Ex 14:15 Don’t just cry about your situation, do something about it. V26, God didn’t just release the sea on the Egyptians, He told Moses to stretch out His hand.  Again showing God works through people’s actions.

Ex 15:26 Obedience brings health / healing.

Ex 16:3 When trials came it seems the Israelites quickly forgot God’s past provisions.  In a previous post I mentioned the importance of recording His provisions for us so that when trials come we can look back and be encouraged.

Ex 20:20 The fearful presence of God did not long keep the people from sinning.  It is the love of God and His Spirit that brings lasting change.

Ex 24:8 Blood, sprinkled on the people, is used to confirm the covenant of obedience.  This covenant was soon broken.  Yeshua / Jesus instituted a more intimate covenant of obedience, not by sprinkling, but by “drinking” the blood.

Much detail is given about the tabernacle and priestly garments.  The animal sacrifices as well which is foreign to many of us today.  One thing I found interesting this time through was that the blood covenant of Ex24:8 was done before these ordinances were given if the timeline is as presented.  This seems to separate the tabernacle sacrificial system from the 24:8 covenant of how to treat each other.

Ex 28:30 Urim and Thummim are a mystery to us today.  Could it be like casting of lots?

Ex 31 God provides for His assigned tasks.

One of the things I am looking at as I journey through the Bible is the heart of God.  In chapter 32 He is ready to wipe out all the Israelites and start over with Moses.  This paints a harsher picture of God than people like to consider.  The commentary in my HCSB seems to indicate this was more of a test for Moses, but plague after plague will be sent from God against the people.  God’s holiness is not to be taken lightly.  This also cements our need for a Savior.

Next Reading:  Week 5  Exodus 33:1 to Leviticus 12:1

Full Armor

It is cold and below freezing outside these days as we are currently in winter.  I would not think about going outside without proper clothing, at least for any length of time without the risk of getting bitten, frost bitten that is.  And if one continued to linger in the cold and be exposed to the elements they would likely soon die without proper protection, especially if there was a significant wind chill.

So why do we think we are safe to wander around without the full armor of God?  Don’t we know that if we do we risk getting bitten by the devil?  And that these attacks would also lead to our destruction?

1 Peter 5:8  Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

We are easy pickings if we don’t have on the proper armor.  So what is this armor we are supposed to don?

Eph 6:10-17  Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

One really doesn’t have to think too hard to make biblical correlations between the different armor pieces mentioned above and our Messiah.  Leave a comment below if you would like me to elucidate these connections.  So in a nutshell, putting on the armor is putting on Christ / Messiah.

The first part of Romans 13:14 is an example of this:

Rom 13:14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ…

These verses show the importance of putting on Christ, so that is a start, but how can we practically do this in our lives?  Here are a few scriptures that can help us accomplish this.

Gal 3:27  For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Rom 13:14  Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh.

Eph 6:18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Phil 4:8  Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.

How do you stay in Christ?  Leave your comments below.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Week 3 Bible Reading Review

Thank you everyone for reading along.  Please leave any comments or questions below, or just check in that you have read this week’s passage. Ask God for wisdom and understanding as you read to share with others.  Remember the purpose of this blog is to help motivate one another to read through the Bible and draw closer to our Creator.

Week 3  Genesis 43:1 to Exodus 13:1

Gen 44:3 This is from my HCSB notes:  Joseph mentions divination as part of the ploy to make the brothers think this is a very valuable cup, there is no evidence that he actually practiced divination. At a later time, divination was officially prohibited for Israelites in the law.

Gen 44:9 A second example of a rash statement that although believed to be true, was not actually so.  A reminder to choose our words carefully and not to overstate our position unduly.

Gen 44:34 Judah, seeing his father’s sorrow for losing Joseph, now offers himself to take Benjamin’s place to spare the misery to his father again.

Gen 46:34 Being shepherds which was abhorrent to the Egyptians seems to have been a way to keep the Israelites separated as people group while they lived in Egypt.

Ex 1:19-21  An example of disobedience to the king and likely lying to save lives. God was good to the midwives for fearing Him. Is it acceptable to disobey authority and lie to save another’s life, or your own?  Is it acceptable to recant belief in Yeshua (Jesus) if it is a lie to save your life?  Yeshua’s example when questioned was typically to return with a question.  May we be given the words to say if ever in such a situation. (Ex 4:12) He always has the best answer.

Ex 2:17 An act of chivalry had a huge impact on Moses’ future.

Ex 4:14 The Lord’s anger burned against Moses for his lack of faith and not wanting to do as told.  Is this a picture we have when we disobey?  Yet God is patient and merciful and sent Aaron with promises of being with Moses.

Ex 4:24 This verse seems strange and missing “the rest of the story”.  This shows the seriousness of the circumcision covenant.  Perhaps Zipporah didn’t want to perform or allow the circumcision but was finally convinced.

Ex 4:24 God said: “Go and meet Moses in the wilderness.”  Who needs GPS?

Ex 5-6 Right from the beginning there was difficulties and conflict in the execution of God’s exodus.  How smooth things go is not necessarily an indication if we are in God’s will.  Perseverance is needed to obey in faith.

Ex 9:12 God directs the heart of kings to accomplish His purposes. (Prov 21:1)

Ex 9:6 All Egyptian livestock died, later the plague of hail speaks of more livestock.  This may indicate some time passage for the reacquiring of livestock, perhaps they took from the Israelites.

Ex 12:1  This verse brings a change to the calendar, making the first month of the year in the spring.  Our current calendar system does not follow this.

The story of the Exodus seems a tall tale to many today, but it brought fear to the Canaanites that they would later face in battle, even 40 years later.

Next Reading:  Week 4  Exodus 13:1 to Exodus 33:1

One Body

Lessons from / for the Body.

I have been listening this past week to a free online “Heal your gut summit”.  Each day of the week there are 5 knowledgeable presenters who discuss what they have learned in their years of experience to help people with healing their gut, bodies and overall health.

Many of the presenters talk about how everything is interconnected.  Not just physically, but also mentally, and emotionally.  About how our mood and stress level can affect our gut and how the health of our gut can affect our mood and stress level.  That our negative / toxic thought patterns can be cleaned up by detoxing our intestines and colon and cleaning up our diet.  Also how even if we do eat healthy but are under lots of stress we can be causing our own poor digestion.  We cannot be successful and neglect the root cause of our problems and just treat the symptoms which may not even be in the same parts of the body.  For example, treating acne with skin cream but neglecting the overburdened and stressed digestive system ignores the actual cause.

Most disease starts with and can be treated by addressing our gut health and guarding our fuel intake.  Our immune / defense system is mostly in our gut as this is the primary point of contact that we have with the toxins we come in contact with.  There is a living community of organisms in a healthy gut that out numbers our own cells 10 to 1 and has similarities to a healthy soil microbiome.

This interrelative understanding can change the way we think about our body and our physical, mental, and emotional health.  It is no accident that God in His word refers to His followers as a body.  We can isolate ourselves because of our differences and think of ourselves as independent, but little do we realize just how much what we do affects the rest of the body and how dependent we are on each other for proper, healthy function.

Learning about our physical bodies can help us understand how interdependent we truly are as members of the body of Messiah (Christ).

1 Cor 12:12  For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, form a single body, so it is with the Messiah.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Week 2 Bible Reading Review

Week 2  Genesis 25:1 to Genesis 43:1

Below are my comments for this week’s reading.  Be sure to post your comments below as well, even if you have only read part of this week’s section.  I encourage every one to comment each week that you area able as it can help with your commitment to read along.

Joseph's Coat of Dreams by Shannon

Gen 25:22  Where did Rebekah go to inquire of the Lord?

Gen 26 Multiple events in Isaac’s life were very similar to his father Abraham.

Gen 27 It seems wrong to me that the deceptive Jacob, saying he was Esau which his father believed would receive any blessing at all here.  Perhaps Jacob’s later blessings were not from this deceptive exchange, nor was it even necessary, but because of Abraham’s obedience and God’s direct blessings spoken to him.  He reaped what he sowed as later Laban was deceitful toward Jacob.

Gen 30 Laban’s actions seem to be geared toward keeping Jacob and not “letting” him leave as he recognized that God was with Jacob.  A stressful environment with the various family squabbles.  God still blessed Jacob as promised despite this.

Gen 31:32 Jacob’s verbal death judgment eventually came to pass against Rachael.  A caution for us to mind our words.

Gen 39 After several unrighteous / disgraceful stories in this section, Joseph stands out in contrast as someone with integrity.  Well done Joseph!

Gen 39:20 Joseph did not let his mistreatment affect his behavior.  A good example for us.

Gen 41:16 Joseph again gives God credit for interpretation before he hears the dream.  This is faith and another good example.

Dreams played a major part in Joseph’s life.  Do we pay attention to our dreams?

Next Reading:  Week 3  Genesis 43:1 to Exodus 13:1

Building Faith

What is faith?
Heb 11:1  Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

In this post I want to mention a few significant things that have occurred in my life that greatly strengthen my faith in my Creator, a God who cares for me.  There are many deceptions and discouraging things that occur in our life to try and undermine our faith and cause us to fall away from the gospel.  This is why I believe it is critical to remind ourselves and each other of our blessings and God’s hand in our lives.  Also, hearing other's testimonies helps build our faith and enables us to consider, if God did this for them, perhaps He will also do it for me!

1 Thessalonians 3:2 We sent Timothy, who is our brother and God’s fellow worker in spreading the gospel of Christ, to strengthen and encourage you in your faith,

Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.

Stomach pain: (Around 1990) I woke up in the middle of the night with my stomach hurting. The pain kept increasing rapidly and became very severe within a few seconds. It became unbearable and I couldn't even talk, I just thought "God help me!" and instantly the pain went away as fast as it had come. I said "thank you" and soon fell back to sleep.

Lost Dogs: (Fall 2001) Shannon and I kept our dogs in the yard by an underground electric fence. We came home one evening to find that the dogs were gone. It appeared that some kid rode his bike through our yard, based on the tracks in the grass, and our dogs went chasing after. We searched the area for a long time and talked to our neighbors to no avail. I was walking down the road and praying to God about the dogs. I finally said something like "God, you care about the sparrow, show me where the dogs are." I looked up and saw two streaks in the sky from where I was, heading off across people’s yards and into the woods. I thought "Ok God, I am going." And headed off in the direction of the trails. I crossed some fences and the woods got thicker yet I kept going in the direction shown. Soon I heard some barking off in the distance. I went a little farther and called for the dogs. They came running, very muddy and full of burrs but glad to see me.

These are only 2 of my personal testimonies that remove any doubt, no matter what others might say to the contrary that there is a God who cares for me.  If you don’t have something in your life that proves it to you, ask God to help you strengthen your faith.  Shannon and I have a spot on a wall in our house where we can post our testimonies and anything we are thankful for.  This serves as a reminder and a testimony of our God and gives us encouragement when we read through the testimonies written there.

Psalm 105:4-5 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Remember His wonders which He has done, His marvels and the judgments uttered by His mouth,

Start a journal listing those “God” faith building moments in your life.  Then when life gets tough, look back through your writings to restore and build your faith!  Then you can say like the verse:
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

Help encourage others by sharing your testimonies of what God has done in your life in the comments below.  Your testimony is crucial in helping others overcome the works of the enemy:
Revelation 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Friday, January 8, 2016

Week 1 Bible Reading Review

Week 1  Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 25:1

First of all I would like to thank everyone for their encouraging comments.  I hope those reading along are encouraged as well!  Please be sure to post any thoughts or questions you had while reading this section at the bottom of the post, no matter how much or how little that might be.  Remember, this is not a contest but a challenge to get us all to read the scriptures so easily taken for granted that our Creator has preserved and made available to us. Here are my thoughts from this week's reading.  Looking forward to reading yours too!

Shannon's creation about creation.

Gen 1:3+  I still find it interesting every time I read this passage that day and night are made and days are marked off before the sun and moon / stars are created.

The first chapter in Genesis clearly states that God created everything, including man in His image.  This goes directly against what many of us have been taught about the theory of evolution.  I have been thinking lately about how deeply ingrained in our lives is this theory which dismisses a God who created us.  This being something Satan, the author of confusion is surely behind.  How much do we accept without really understanding, sometimes contrary to our own observation and experience?

As a possible example of this I thought you might find interesting, Shannon and I replicated an experiment I learned about recently.  Gen 1:16 talks about the lesser light (moon) which we are told is a space rock that reflects the sun’s light.  On a clear night a couple weeks ago, when the moon was nearly full, I took a smooth white plastic poster board and placed it outside so that the moonlight shown on half of the board and the other half was shaded by an object.  Then I took a radiant heat gun and measured the temps.  Almost immediately there was a 2 F degree difference.  I got Shannon to come and verify my readings and after only about 5 minutes there was approximately a 5 F degree difference.  So you might think, what’s the big deal?  Well the deal was that the lighted side reflecting the moonlight was colder than the shaded part!  Could this mean that the moon has its own light with properties different than that of the sun and does not reflect sunlight as we are told?  Note: as a control I also ran this test using the same material and reader with direct sunlight, cloud diffused and mirror reflected sunlight.  The sunlit area was warmer than the shade in all cases.  It is more significant to be able to prove this ourselves.  How many more things in our lives can we strengthen our faith by doing instead of just hearing? (1 Thes 5:21) Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

Gen 3:19 Part of the curse of taking of the forbidden tree is returning to dust, death.  Suffering and death were not part of man’s original design before sin.

Gen 4:10 The blood of Abel cries to God… So much shed blood over the years.  This reminds me of a man named Henry Gruver known as a prayer walker who travels the world to pray for such things.  God have mercy!

Gen 4:15 God extends mercy to Cain with the mark, even without penitence.  God is still merciful to many a sinner today.

Gen 6:1-4  There is much speculation about this section of scripture.  The notes in my Bible (HCSB) states “This brief portion of Genesis is one of the most controversial sections of the entire Bible”… enough said.

Gen 6:6-7 This verse has been confusing to me in the past.  Why would God regret for making man?  Did he not see this coming?  I have since come to understand that this is not Him saying that He wished He never made man to begin with, but the emphasis is “He was grieved in His heart” for how men were regarding Him and treating each other.   The LXXE translation gives me a different picture than the HCSB:

And the Lord God, having seen that the wicked actions of men were multiplied upon the earth, and that every one in his heart was intently brooding over evil continually, then God laid it to heart that he had made man upon the earth, and he pondered it deeply. And God said, I will blot out man whom I have made from the face of the earth, even man with cattle, and reptiles with flying creatures of the sky, for I am grieved that I have made them. (LXXE)

Gen 6:22 Noah did everything God commanded Him.  Are we as diligent?  Our very existence is a testimony to Noah’s obedience.  Contrast with the original sin we are all still suffering from.  What we do and say, good or bad has more effect then we may realize.

Gen 8:4+ Yeshua (Jesus) said, just as it was in the days of Noah, so shall the coming of the son of man be.  I wonder if there will be significance to the numbers and days mentioned in correlation with future events.

Gen 12:16 Abram was still blessed despite his deception.

Gen 13:11 Abram gave Lot the option and Lot chose the best from his perspective.  This later turned out to be a bad choice.  Sometimes what looks good to us may not be what is best for us.

Gen 15:16  God would later instruct Israel to war against those living in Canaan.  This verse shows his mercy as their sin had not reached the point of full measure yet.  A 400 year reprieve.

Gen 17  The covenant given to Abraham and his offspring was significant for God to appear and pronounce it.  This and many stories that follow are recorded for us because it is the genealogical line through which our Messiah would later come.

Gen 18:8 I disprove of Lot’s decision to suggest to throw his daughters to the crowd.  Are they not also under the protection of his roof?  This is not admirable to me.

Gen 19:16 In the midst of a story of destruction we see “the Lord’s Compassion” for Lot.

Gen 22 Abraham’s “sacrifice” of Isaac is another difficult story.  If someone said God told them to sacrifice someone I would think they are not hearing from God yet this is not the case here.  This story pictures for us the heavenly Father sacrificing his own Son.  I think it was more for the benefit of those who came between Abraham and Yeshua (Jesus) than a test for Abraham.

Next reading:  Week 2  Genesis 25:1 to Genesis 43:1

Friday, January 1, 2016

Genesis to Revelation Journey Start

This Week's Reading:  Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 25:1

This is the beginning of our journey through the Bible in a year program.  The following are some suggestions on things you can look for when going through each week's readings:  Take notes as you go so you can post your comments at the end of the week.

  • general/specific comments 
  • thoughts/insights 
  • something you learned or sticks out in your mind 
  • questions/things you don’t understand 
  • how to apply something in the text to us today

My responsibility is to have a new post up discussing each week's reading by Saturday or Sunday at the latest.

My hope is to have us all be reading from the Bible every day.  Even if you do not read the full suggested passage you are still encouraged to read and comment each week.  If you come across this blog after the readings have started, you can start from the beginning and catch up or jump to the latest week's posting if you like.

If you have not read through the entire Bible before now is the time to start.  If you read through the Bible before one or more times and find it difficult to motivate yourself then I encourage participation in the discussion and comments.  Another thing that may help as you read is to look for a particular topic or theme that you would like to know more about.  For example, what does the Bible say about the nature of God, or what does it say about your purpose, why were you created etc.

It will be difficult to read without our past bias but try to read each section with an open mind.
Ask God for wisdom and understanding as you read.  Ask Him to show you what He wants you to know as you read.

About 15 years ago I was praying and asking God what His will for my life was.  It was quite unexpected when I heard in an “audible” voice “Study My Word” as this was the only time I had experienced such a thing.  I then began to read the Bible and have read through several times but since then have been finding it difficult to stay motivated in reading the "same old" stuff.  Since then I have been reminded in multiple ways the importance of reading His word as it keeps it fresh in our minds and hearts.  Whatever we devote a lot of time to becomes what is on our minds and hearts, good or bad.  There are enough bad things in this world to dwell on so why not dwell on God's words to give us a foundation to take every thought captive and walk in righteousness.  So doing this study again in blog format is for my benefit as well and will help keep me accountable each week.

Do you find it easy or difficult to read / study the Bible?
What helps keep you motivated in reading it?

The Journey Begins

Today, January 1, 2016 our journey begins.  Well at least in blog form...

This is the first post on this new blog so I will spend some time to layout what this blog is about, the reasons behind it as well as the goals and purposes.  This post will hopefully give the reader a basic overview of what to expect in upcoming posts and hopefully encourage them to continue on their Revelation Journey as well.  I (Timothy) will be the primary author on this blog with occasional contributions of content and scripture art by Shannon.  I would also like to include your comments and guest content from other readers as well.

Faith Fundamentals:

This blog will be completely God centered and starts with the foundation that He has created us and the world we live in.  The Holy Bible will be utilized as the primary study material and considered fully inspired by Him.  Various translations of the Bible may be compared from time to time as well as exploration of underlying Greek and Hebrew words but that will not be the focus.  Various names and titles my be used throughout for our Creator. Comments are welcome but may be removed if they detract from the purpose of this blog.

Goals / Purpose:

Read the blog description at the top of this post for a general overview.  There are three main types of post content that I am planning to present on this blog.

  • Bible Study

I have broken down the Bible (standard book order) from Genesis to Revelation into 52 reading sections, one for each week of the year.  I will then be responsible for reading the assigned section each week and then commenting about that portion of scripture in a blog post.  I would also like to encourage you to read along each week and post comments / questions about the reading.  This is a journey we can all go on together from Genesis to Revelation.
(2 Tim 3:16)  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

  • Finger Print of God

This type of post will focus on building our faith in God.  What He has done and what He is currently doing in our lives.  I plan to share some amazing moments of encountering the evidence of God in my past as well as hope to share some new encounters as they occur.  I hope that others will share their experiences and testimonies as well, as this will encourage each other and build our faith to enable us to overcome the enemy.
(Rev 12:11)  They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.

  • Identity Restoration

I have been learning lately that one of the main tactics of the enemy is to destroy our value and identity in our minds.  I will be sharing things I have learned about this which I feel everyone can benefit from.


Life is a journey and the obstacles and scenery will change along the way.  It is important the we encourage each other as we travel.  It can make a huge difference in helping us push through the difficult spots and press on.  Without encouragement it is easy to give up and think that it doesn't really matter.  Doing a blog consistently is a commitment. It was after discussion with a friend that I was encouraged to create this blog in the hopes that it will encourage others on their journey.  Please leave any comments below and share this blog with others.
(1 Thes 5:11) Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.