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.