Archive for April, 2017

Heart Circumcision, chapter 30

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

4/29/17, God’s 2nd month, Iyar 3, 5777 begins at sunset today. To 4,392 “in resident churches” and individuals “called to follow Jesus.”

     The worldly unbelieving Christendom populations can’t fathom God being absolute. Can’t understand God being in complete control, knowing the endings, being the Alpha and Omega, having absolute plans and knowing each individual totally. Followers of Jesus teaching these absolutes are hated just as Jesus was hated.

    Christendom and denominationalism in general wants to intellectually rationalize and make God fit their fleshly assumptions. Not comprehending that God is the spiritual Creator of all things, “life, matter and spiritual” what we can see and can’t see. Thus the many can’t believe in the following three scripturally inspired Words of God. Affirming that God the Father does most all things through God the Son.

      (Hebrews 1:1-2; “After God ‘the Father’ spoke long ago in various portions and in various ways to our ancestors through the prophets, in these last days He has spoken to us in a Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, and through whom He created the world.”

    Generally, “Christendom teaches a Jesus that came to do away with His Father’s obsolete rules.” 

     (Heb 1:3-4; “The Son ‘Jesus’ is the radiance of His glory and the representation of His essence, and He sustains all things by His powerful Word, and so when He had accomplished cleansing for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Thus He became so far better than the angels as He has inherited a name superior to theirs.”

     The name Jesus inherited as “First Begotten of the Father” is as “Son of Man and Son of God. Before His fleshly birth Jesus was Creator, re-Creator, Sustainer and the Lord God to all, “from Adam to the time of His fleshly birth as Son of Man, Son of God.” Jesus’ resurrection and glorification makes Him the Pioneer and Perfector of our gifted faith, “apparently inheriting a new name likened to the new name His followers are inheriting.”

  As Son of Man, Son of God “Jesus” and His followers inherit superiority to Angels.

     (Heb 1:5; “For to which of the angels did God ‘the Father’ ever say, “You are My Son! Today I have fathered You”? “I have begotten you.” Quotation from Psalms 2:7.

    And in another place He says, “I will be His father and He will be My Son.” “I will be a Father to Him and He will be a Son to Me.” “Quote from 2 Sam 7:14 and 1 Chr 17:13).

    (Heb 1:6; “But when He again brings His firstborn into the world, He says, “Let all the angels of God worship Him!” “Quote combining themes of Deut 32:43 and Psalms 97:7

    (Heb 1:7-9; “And He says of the angels, “He makes His angels spirits and His ministers a flame of fire,” but of the Son He says, “Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, and a righteous scepter is the scepter of Your kingdom. You have loved righteousness and hated lawlessness. So God, your God, has anointed You over your companions with the oil of rejoicing. Quote from Psalms 45:6-7.

    Heb 1:10-12; And, “You ‘Jesus’ founded the earth in the beginning, Lord, and the heavens are the works of Your hands. They will perish, but You continue. And they will all grow old like a garment, and like a robe You will fold them up and like a garment they will be changed, but You are the same and Your years will never run out.” “Quote from Psalms 102:25-27” Verses 10-12 should make any reader know that Jesus has not changed the Sabbath.

    (Heb 1:13-14; “But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet”? Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to serve those who will inherit salvation?”) Followers of Jesus are those inheriting salvation.

     John’s gospel account begins with him revealing Jesus’ deity.

     (John 1:1-5; “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was fully God. The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were created by Him, and apart from Him not one thing was created that has been created. In Him was Life and the Life was the light of mankind. And the Light shines on in the darkness, but the darkness has not mastered it.”)

    (In the beginning? The search for the basic “stuff” out of which things are made was the earliest one in Greek philosophy. It was attended by the related question of “What is the process by which the secondary things came out of the primary one (or ones)?,” or in Aristotelian terminology, “What is the ‘beginning’ (same Greek word as beginning, John 1:1) and what is the origin of the things that are made?” In the New Testament the word usually has a temporal sense, even lists a major category of meaning as “the first cause.” For John, the words “In the beginning” are most likely a conscious allusion to the opening words of Genesis – “In the beginning.” Other concepts which occur prominently in Gen 1 are also found in John’s prologue: “life” (1:4) “light” (1:4) and “darkness” (1:5). Gen 1 describes the first (physical) creation; John 1 describes the new (spiritual) creation. But this is not to play off a false dichotomy between “physical” and “spiritual”; the first creation was both physical and spiritual. The new creation is really a re-creation, of the spiritual (first) but also the physical. (In spite of the common understanding of John’s “spiritual” emphasis, the “physical” re-creation should not be overlooked; this occurs in John 2 with the changing of water into wine, in John 11 with the resurrection of Lazarus, and the emphasis of John 20-21 on the aftermath of Jesus’ own resurrection.)

   Word was fully God? John’s theology consistently drives toward the conclusion that Jesus, the incarnate Word, is just as much God as God the Father. This can be seen, for example, in texts like John 10:30 (“The Father and I are one”), 17:11 (“so that they may be one just as we are one”), and 8:58 (“before Abraham came into existence, I am”). The construction in John 1:1 does not equate the Word with the person of God (this is ruled out by 1:1, “the Word was with God”); rather it affirms that the Word and God are individuals “one in purpose.”

   Paul was given to understand the Supremacy of Christ

    (Colossians 1:15-20; “He ‘Jesus’ is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation, for all things in heaven and on earth were created by Him – all things, whether visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions, whether principalities or powers – all things were created through Him and for Him. He Himself is before all things and all things are held together in Him. He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead, so that He Himself may become first in all things. For God ‘the Father’ was pleased to have all His fullness dwell in the Son and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself by making peace through the blood of His cross – through Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven.”)

    (Firstborn” in 1:15? Is reference to Jesus as the “firstborn to spirit life, from among the dead” is the chronological priority. Jesus was the first fleshly life to rise spiritually from the dead.)

    Followers of Jesus strive for unity and humility like Jesus’.

     (Philippians 2:1-7; “Therefore, if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort provided by love, any fellowship in the Spirit, any affection or mercy, complete my joy and be of the same mind, by having the same love, being united in spirit, and having one purpose. (3) Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well. You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, who though He existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, but emptied Himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men and by sharing in human nature.

    (8-11; “He humbled Himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death – even death on a cross! As a result God exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow – in heaven and on earth and under the earth –  and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”)

    First comes the gifted desire.

     (Phil 2:12-13; “So then, my dear friends, just as you have always obeyed, not only in my presence but even more in my absence, continue working out your salvation with awe and reverence, (13) for the One bringing forth in you both the desire and the effort – for the sake of his good pleasure – is God.”)

     It is circumcision of heart, gifted. It is God’s energizing Holy Spirit, gifted; which gives the desire to be “at one with God.” 

Heart Circumcision, chapter 29

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

God’s 2nd month, Iyar 1, 5777 begins at sunset today: 4/27/2017 began at midnight. . To 4,374 “in resident churches” and individuals “called to follow Jesus.”

    When people called by God worship we need to think spiritually, not as unbelievers who imagine God fitting some denomination‘s view. When we pray we need to examine our belief: “are we believers that” or “believers IN?” The many believe superstitiously in a god of their imagination. The few are called out and gifted with believing IN faith. Fathered by God people know that Jesus is our Creator and Mediator.

     (But you ‘followers of Jesus’ have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven and to God, the judge of all and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect and to Jesus the Mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does.” Hebrews 12:22-24)

     The Holy Scriptures teach against our looking for signs as the Pharisees and certain religion entities like to assume God uses. Jesus said the only sign given would be; “the sign of the prophet Jonah. For just as Jonah was in the belly of the huge fish for three days and three nights, so the Son of Man will be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights. The people of Nineveh will stand up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because they repented when Jonah preached to them – and now, something greater than Jonah is here! The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, because she came from the ends of the earth to hear the Wisdom of Solomon – and now, something greater than Solomon is here!” Matt 12:38-42)

     The fact that Jesus is spiritually resurrected, that He resurrected Lazarus to physical life after being dead four days, through Peter resurrected Tabitha (which in translation means Dorcas) to physical life, (see Acts 9:33-43) when Jesus died many Saints came out of their graves, (see Matt 27:52-53) Jesus prophesying through Ezekiel about Israel’s future physical resurrection and deliverance, (see Ezekiel 37:52) should make we each believe IN God’s promised resurrections and judgment.

     Knowing faith in God can’t be conjured up; knowing faith is gifted, the desire is gifted, (see Philippians 2:13) as is circumcision of heart which is God’s energizing Holy Spirit. Our being put in God’s church family isn’t our choice but His. With these beliefs being firmly planted we know our understanding the Holy Scriptures is gifted, thus we can’t boast except in the Lord. To non-Israelite believers Paul explained that Israelites were the broken branches and God’s olive root.

     (Romans 11:17-24; “Now if some of the branches were broken off, and you, a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among them and participated in the richness of the olive root, do not boast over the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. Then you will say, “The branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” (20) Granted! They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you ‘gentiles’ stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but fear! For if God did not spare the natural branches, perhaps He will not spare you. Notice therefore the kindness and harshness of God – harshness toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness toward you, provided you continue in His kindness; otherwise you also will be cut off. (23) And even they – if they do not continue in their unbelief – will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. (24) For if you were cut off from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these natural branches be grafted back into their own olive tree?”)

     Jesus’ covenant ‘will’ with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was physical, spiritual and perpetual. Thus a future physical resurrection and deliverance of all Israel is promised. Though a stubborn people, they are saved by promised grace to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

     (Romans 11:25-27; “For I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers and sisters, so that you may not be conceited: A partial hardening has happened to Israel until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. (26) And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion; He will remove ungodliness from Jacob. And this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.” Quotes from Isaiah 59:20-21,  27:9; and Jeremiah 31:33-34.)

  Israelites enemies for sake of gentiles but are elect for the sake of the fathers.

    (Rom 11:28-33; “In regard to the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but in regard to election they are dearly loved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable. (30) Just as you were formerly disobedient to God, but have now received mercy due to their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that, by the mercy shown to you, they too may now receive mercy. (32) For God has consigned all people to disobedience so that He may show mercy to them all. Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and how fathomless His ways!

    (Rom 11:34-36; “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been His counselor? (Quote from Isa 40:14) Or who has first given to God, that God needs to repay him? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever! Amen.”)

    Study Isaiah 41: and 59: consider (59:20-21; “A protector ‘Redeemer’ comes to Zion, to those in Jacob ‘Israel’ who repent of their rebellious deeds,” says the Lord. “As for Me, this is My promise to them,” says the Lord. “My spirit, who is upon you, and My words, which I have placed in your mouth, will not depart from your mouth or from the mouths of your children and descendants from this time forward,” says the Lord.”)

    Jesus promised the same through Jeremiah, study chapter 31:

    (Jer 31:33; “But I will make a new covenant with the whole nation of Israel after I plant them back in the land,” says the Lord.

“I will77 put my law within them and write it on their hearts and minds. I will be their God and they will be my people.80

     After those days?” Commentators are generally agreed that this refers to the return from exile and the repopulation of the land referred to in vv. 27-28 and not to something subsequent to the time mentioned in v. 30. This is the sequencing that is also presupposed in other new covenant passages such as Deut 30:1-6; Ezek 11:17-20; 36:24-28.”

     In their inward parts?” The Hebrew word here refers to the seat of the thoughts, emotions, and decisions (Jeremiah 9:7-8). It is essentially synonymous with “heart” in Hebrew psychological terms.”

    The words “and minds” is not in the text but is supplied in the translation to bring the English psychology more into line with the Hebrew where the “heart” is the center both of knowing/thinking/reflecting and deciding/willing.”

    (Jeremiah 31:34; “People will no longer need to teach their neighbors and relatives to know Me. For all of them, from the least important to the most important, will know Me,” says the Lord. “For I will forgive their sin and will no longer call to mind the wrong they have done.”

   Israel’s Continuance guaranteed

     (Jer 31:35-37; The Lord has made a promise to Israel. He promises it as the One who fixed the sun to give light by day and the moon and stars to give light by night. He promises it as the One who stirs up the sea so that its waves roll. He promises it as the One who is known as the Lord who rules over all. The Lord affirms, “The descendants of Israel will not cease forever to be a nation in My sight. That could only happen if the fixed ordering of the heavenly lights were to cease to operate before Me.” (37) The Lord says, “I will not reject all the descendants of Israel because of all that they have done.

That could only happen if the heavens above could be measured or the foundations of the earth below could all be explored,” says the Lord.”

  Jerusalem Will Be Enlarged

    (Jer 31:38-39; “Indeed a time is coming,” says the Lord, “when the city of Jerusalem will be rebuilt as My special city. It will be built from the Tower of Hananel westward to the Corner Gate. The boundary line will extend beyond that, straight west from there to the Hill of Gareb and then turn southward to Goah.

    (The Tower of Hananel is referred to in Neh 3:1; 12:39; Zech 14:10. According to the directions given in Neh 3 it was in the northern wall, perhaps in the northeast corner, north of the temple mount. The Corner Gate is mentioned again in 2 Kgs 14:13; 2 Chr 25:23; 26:9; Zech 14:10. It is generally agreed that it was located in the northwest corner of the city.)

     (Jer 31:40; “The whole valley where dead bodies and sacrificial ashes are thrown and all the terraced fields out to the Kidron Valley on the east as far north as the Horse Gate will be included within this city that is sacred to the Lord. The city will never again be torn down or destroyed.”)

     Hinnom Valley is on the southwestern and southern side of the city. It was here where the people of Jerusalem had burned their children as sacrifices and where the Lord had said that there would be so many dead bodies when He punished them that they would be unable to bury all of them (See Jer 7:31-32). Reference here may be to those dead bodies and to the ashes of the cremated victims. This defiled place would be included within the holy city. The fields of Kidron are mentioned also in 2 Kings 23:4 as the place where Josiah burned the cult objects of Baal.” King Josiah responded to pagan activities.

     (Hinnom Valley is also where the kings of Judah had appointed to offer sacrifices on the high places in the cities of Judah and in the area right around Jerusalem. (They offered sacrifices to Baal, the sun god, the moon god, the constellations, and all the stars in the sky.) He removed the Asherah pole from the Lord’s temple and took it outside Jerusalem to the Kidron Valley, where he burned it. He smashed it to dust and then threw the dust in the public graveyard. He tore down the quarters of the male cultic prostitutes in the Lord’s temple, where women were weaving shrines for Asherah.”) See 2Kings 22: & 23:

     Comparing Jeremiah 7:30-31; and 19:5. The god Molech is especially associated with the practice of child sacrifice (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; 2 Kgs 23:10). In 1 Kgs 11:7 this god is identified as the god of the Ammonites who is also called Milcom in 1 Kgs 11:5; 2 Kgs 23:13. Child sacrifice, however, was not confined to this god; it was also made to the god Baal (Jer 19:5) and to other idols that the Israelites had set up (Ezek 16:20-21). This practice was, however, strictly prohibited in Israel (Lev 18:21; 20:2-5; Deut 12:31; 18:10). It was this practice as well as other pagan rites that Manasseh had instituted in Judah that ultimately led to Judah’s demise (2 Kgs 24:3-4). Though Josiah tried to root these pagan practices (2 Kgs 23:4-14) out of Judah he could not do so. The people had only made a pretense of following his reforms; their hearts were still far from God (Jer 3:10; 12:2).

     Pathetically, many modern Christendom people observe the Asherah pole, Sunday rather than the Sabbath, the zodiac and its symbols. The Satan inspired belief regarding immortality at birth is where and how child sacrifices originated with the pagans.

 

Heart Circumcision, chapter 28

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

God’s 1st month, Nisan 29, 5777 begins at sunset today: 4/25/2017 began at midnight. . To 4,366 “in resident churches” and individuals “called to follow Jesus.”

     When we consider our last two chapters we know why people debate things, why opinions are strongly held regarding God’s law and holy times. People gifted to understand Jesus’ deity, as Creator, re-Creator, Sustainer, law giver and now Mediator for His people understand His purposes in the old and new covenants. The old covenant was with a specifically called out people “Israelites” by promise to Abraham. The New Covenant is with a specifically called people “Spiritual Israelites” by promise to Abraham. (A people to whom are gifted with “God’s laws imputed to their minds and inscribe in their hearts, making them God’s people and He their God.”) His New Covenant isn’t with a “deciding for self people.” Parallel understandings of the two covenants are gifted to spiritually called out from the world people.

     Consider Jesus’ revelations to us through Isaiah. (Isaiah 51:1-5; “Listen to Me, you who pursue godliness, who seek the Lord! Look at the rock from which you were chiseled, at the quarry from which you were dug! Look at Abraham, your father, and Sarah, who gave you birth. When I summoned Abraham, he was a lone individual, but I blessed him and gave him numerous descendants. Certainly the Lord will console Zion; He will console all her ruins. He will make her wilderness like Eden, her desert like the Garden of the Lord. Happiness and joy will be restored to her, thanksgiving and the sound of music. (4) Pay attention to Me, My people! Listen to Me, My people! For I will issue a decree, I will make My justice a light to the nations. I am ready to vindicate, I am ready to deliver, I will establish justice among the nations. The coastlands wait patiently for Me; they wait in anticipation for the revelation of My power.”) Study the whole.

The same Lord that called and made promises to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,

 Moses and each apostle is Jesus, now servicing in the Heavenly Sanctuary.

     (Hebrews 9:11-12; But now Christ has come as the high priest of the good things to come. He passed through the greater and more perfect tent not made with hands, that is, not of this creation, and He entered once for all into the most holy place not by the blood of goats and calves but by His own blood, and so He Himself secured eternal redemption.

   (13-15; For if the blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a young cow sprinkled on those who are defiled consecrated them and provided ritual purity, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify our consciences from dead works to worship the living God. (15) And so He is the Mediator of a New Covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance He has promised, since He died to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant.”

     (16-23; “For where there is a will, ‘covenant’ the death of the one who made it must be proven. For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive. (18) So even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when Moses had spoken every command to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded you to keep.” (21) And both the tabernacle and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. So it was necessary for the sketches of the things in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves required better sacrifices than these.”

     (24-28; “For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands – the representation of the true sanctuary – but into heaven itself, and He appears now in God’s presence for us. And He did not enter to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, for then He would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by His sacrifice. (27) And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await Him He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”)

    Concluding Exposition: Old and New Sacrifices Contrasted with

God’s purpose of perfecting and purifying His people.

      (Hebrews 10:1-17; “For the law possesses a shadow of the good things to come but not the reality itself, and is therefore completely unable, by the same sacrifices offered continually, year after year, to perfect those who come to worship. For otherwise would they not have ceased to be offered, since the worshipers would have been purified once for all and so have no further consciousness of sin? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year after year. For the blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sins. (5) So when He ‘Jesus’ came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You prepared for Me.”Whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings You took no delight in.”Then I said, Here I am: I have come – it is written of Me in the scroll of the book – to do your will, O God.’” Quote from Psalms 40:6-8.

    (8-11; “When He says above, “Sacrifices and offerings and whole burnt offerings and sin-offerings You did not desire nor did you take delight in them” (which are offered according to the law), then He says, “Here I am: I have come to do Your will.” He does away with the first ‘covenant’ to establish the second. (10) By His will we have been made holy through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest stands day after day serving and offering the same sacrifices again and again – sacrifices that can never take away sins.”

     12-18; “But when this priest ‘Jesus’ had offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, He sat down at the right hand of God, where He is now waiting until His enemies are made a footstool for His feet. An allusion to Psalms 110:1. (14) For by one offering He has perfected for all time those who are made holy. And the Holy Spirit also witnesses to us, for after saying, “This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord. I will put My laws on their hearts and I will inscribe them on their minds,” then He says, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no longer.” (18) Now where there is forgiveness of these, there is no longer any offering for sin.

   Now the Work of Enduring Faith.

     (Hebrews 10:19-25; “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the sanctuary by the blood of Jesus, by the fresh and living way that He inaugurated for us through the curtain, that is, through His flesh, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a sincere heart in the assurance that ‘Jesus’’ faith brings, because we have had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed in pure water. (23) And let us hold unwaveringly to the hope that we confess, for the One who made the promise is trustworthy. And let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other and even more so because you see the day drawing near.”

    (26-30; “For if we deliberately keep on sinning after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no further sacrifice for sins is left for us, but only a certain fearful expectation of judgment and a fury of fire that will consume God’s enemies. Someone who rejected the law of Moses was put to death without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much greater punishment do you think that person deserves who has contempt for the Son of God and profanes the blood of the covenant that made him holy and insults the Spirit of grace? For we know the One who said, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay” and again, “The Lord will judge His people.” Quote from Deut 32:36.)

     (31-34; “It is a terrifying thing to fall into the hands of the living God. But remember the former days when you endured a harsh conflict of suffering after you were enlightened. At times you were publicly exposed to abuse and afflictions, and at other times you came to share with others who were treated in that way. For in fact you shared the sufferings of those in prison and you accepted the confiscation of your belongings with joy, because you knew that you certainly had a better and lasting possession.”

   Pray for endurance.

     (35-38; “So do not throw away your confidence, because it has great reward. For you need endurance in order to do God’s will and so receive what is promised. For just a little longer and He who is coming will arrive and not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith, and if he shrinks back, I take no pleasure in him.” Quote from Habakkuk 2:4. (39 But we are not among those who shrink back and thus perish, but are among those who have faith and preserve their souls.”

    Hebrews 11: is the inserted faith chapter, for our purpose we go to chapter 12:

   Discipline and endurance. (Heb 12:1-6; “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, we must get rid of every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and run with endurance the race set out for us, keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus, the Pioneer and Perfector of our faith. For the joy set out for Him He endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken His seat at the right hand of the throne of God. Think of Him who endured such opposition against Himself by sinners, so that you may not grow weary in your souls and give up. (4) You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in your struggle against sin. And have you forgotten the exhortation addressed to you as sons? “My son, do not scorn the Lord’s discipline or give up when He corrects you.For the Lord disciplines the one He loves and chastises every son He accepts.

    (7-13; “Endure your suffering as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is there that a father does not discipline? But if you do not experience discipline, something all sons have shared in, then you are illegitimate and are not sons. Besides, we have experienced discipline from our earthly fathers and we respected them; shall we not submit ourselves all the more to the Father of spirits and receive life? (10) For they disciplined us for a little while as seemed good to them, but He does so for our benefit, that we may share His holiness. Now all discipline seems painful at the time, not joyful. But later it produces the fruit of peace and righteousness for those trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your listless hands and your weak knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint but be healed.”

    (Heb 12:14-17; “Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness, for without it no one will see the Lord. See to it that no one comes short of the grace of God, that no one be like a bitter root springing up and causing trouble, and through him many become defiled. And see to it that no one becomes an immoral or godless person like Esau, who sold his own birthright for a single meal. (17) For you know that later when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found no opportunity for repentance, although he sought the blessing with tears.

    (18-24; “For you ‘followers of Jesus’ have not come to something that can be touched, to a burning fire and darkness and gloom and a whirlwind and the blast of a trumpet and a voice uttering words such that those who heard begged to hear no more. For they could not bear what was commanded: “If even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned.” (See Exodus 19:12-13) In fact, the scene was so terrifying that Moses said, “I shudder with fear.”

    But you ‘followers of Jesus’ have come to Mount Zion, the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem and to myriads of angels, to the assembly and congregation of the firstborn, who are enrolled in heaven, and to God, the judge of all and to the spirits of the righteous, who have been made perfect and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant and to the sprinkled blood that speaks of something better than Abel’s does.”)

    (Mediator? Describes Jesus’ function as the One who enacted a new covenant establishing a new relationship between God The Father and His people, but entirely on God’s terms.)

        (Abel’s shed blood cried out to the Lord for justice and judgment, but Jesus’ blood speaks of redemption and forgiveness, something better than Abel’s. Genesis 4:10; Hebrew 9:11-14 and 11:4. Abel is our first example of one “not deciding for himself what’s right, wrong, good and evil; opposite of rationalizing Cain.)

    (I will once more shake not only the earth but heaven too. Quote from Haggai 2:6).

    (God is indeed a devouring fire. Quote from Deuteronomy 4:24; and 9:3.)

Heart Circumcision, chapter 27

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

God’s 1st month, Nisan 26, 5777 begins at sunset today: 4/22/2017 began at midnight. . To 4,360 “in resident churches” and individuals “called to follow Jesus.”

     Satan has the world divided for his short term purpose and God is allowing it for His ultimate purpose. Satan wants each individual to think of themselves as divine and thus decide for themselves, “What’s right, wrong, good and evil. As Satan’s demise approaches he and his followers will become more ruthful toward every entity that teaches God’s truth. God is going to put Satan and his followers out of commission for one thousand years and afterward forever while His truth expands as water covers the sea. God’s ultimate purpose is that this world’s populations eventually see Satan for what he is. “The deceiver that desires each person be deceived.”

     Now God had His reason for not wanting Adam and Eve partaking from “the tree of life and knowledge of good and evil.” Today knowledge has increased and we now know; “when fleshly people intellectually choose for themselves they are rejecting God and yielding to demonic influences, “worldwide demonic division is the result.” (From God’s point of view, “He gave us talents and individualities to help and complement one another, “not to intellectually decide for ourselves what’s right, wrong, good and evil; when we do “divisionary chaos erupts.”) Prayerfully think through the foundational reason for division. 

      (Gen 2:9; God made every tree that was pleasing to look at and good for food. (Now the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil were in the middle of the orchard.) (Gen 2:16-17; “Then the Lord God commanded the man, “You may freely eat fruit from every tree of the orchard, but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will surely die.”)

     (Heb “dying you will die?” The imperfect verb form here has the nuance of the specific future because it is introduced with the temporal clause, “when you eat you will die.” That certainty is underscored with the infinitive absolute, “you will surely die.”)

     Whether vegetation, tree, mammal, animal, fish or human species, “every physical living thing is in the process of dying.

     Because God is love; He made The Way to eternal life.

     Genesis 3:4-5; “The serpent said to the woman, “Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it ‘tree of knowledge’ your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.”) Satan called God a liar.

 Satan knew God had planned “the way” “the new covenant way”

 So people could become God’s heirs; “heirs with Abraham.” 

     (John 3:16; “For this is the way God loved the world: He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. “)

      Perish, can mean either (1) to be lost (2) to perish or be destroyed, depending on the context. The alternatives presented are only two (for this to be presented in terms of polar opposites): perish or have eternal life.

      (3:17-21; “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through Him. The one who believes IN Him is not condemned. The one who does not believe has been condemned already, because he has not believed IN the name of the one and only Son of God. (19) Now this is the basis for judging: that The Light has come into the world and people loved the darkness rather than The Light, because their deeds were evil. (20) For everyone who does evil deeds hates The Light and does not come to The Light, so that their deeds will not be exposed. (21) But the one who practices the truth comes to The Light, so that it may be plainly evident that his deeds have been done in God.”)

     (If there is a twofold reaction to Jesus in John’s Gospel, it should be emphasized that reaction is very much dependent on a person’s choice regarding deeds, a choice that is influenced by his desired way of life, (whether his deeds are wicked or are done in God.) (John 3:20-21). For John’s intent there is virtually no trace of  at the surface. Only when we look beneath the surface do we find statements like “no one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him” (John 6:44).

     Deeds done in God are from His perspective, “as Creator it’s His prerogative to teach what’s right, wrong, good and evil.” Review verses 20-22 above. When Adam and Eve disobeyed “their deeds were self serving, not done in God.” Satan caused them to be suspicious of God’s motives, “thinking perhaps God did hold back something.”

    The same Lord that said, “don’t eat from a particular tree” is now Mediator of a New Covenant. See John 1:1-4, Col 1:15-20 and Heb 1:1-4.

     (Hebrews 9:15-28; “And so He ‘Jesus’ is the Mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the eternal inheritance He has promised, since He died to set them free from the violations committed under the first covenant. (16) For where there is a will, the death of the one who made it must be proven. For a will takes effect only at death, since it carries no force while the one who made it is alive. So even the first covenant was inaugurated with blood. For when Moses had spoken every command to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and goats with water and scarlet wool and hyssop and sprinkled both the book itself and all the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that God has commanded you to keep.” And both the tabernacle and all the utensils of worship he likewise sprinkled with blood. (22) Indeed according to the law almost everything was purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness. So it was necessary for the sketches of the things in heaven to be purified with these sacrifices, but the heavenly things themselves required better sacrifices than these. (24) For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made with hands – the representation of the true sanctuary – but into heaven itself, and He appears now in God’s presence for us. And He did not enter to offer Himself again and again, the way the high priest enters the sanctuary year after year with blood that is not his own, for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the consummation of the ages to put away sin by His sacrifice. (27) And just as people are appointed to die once, and then to face judgment, (28) so also, after Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many, to those who eagerly await Him He will appear a second time, not to bear sin but to bring salvation.”)

     Sketches? Or “prototypes,” “outlines,” referring to the earthly sanctuary. See Heb 8:5 for the prior use of this term.

     (Hebrews 8:1-6;” Now the main point of what we are saying is this: We have such a High Priest, One who sat down at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tabernacle that the Lord, not man, set up. For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. So this One too had to have something to offer. (4) Now if He were on earth, He would not be a priest, since there are already priests who offer the gifts prescribed by the law. The place where they serve is a sketch and shadow of the heavenly sanctuary, just as Moses was warned by God as he was about to complete the tabernacle. For He says, “See that you make everything according to the design shown to you on the mountain.” But now Jesus has obtained a superior ministry, since the covenant that He mediates is also better and is enacted on better promises.”

    (7-9; “For if that first covenant had been faultless, no one would have looked for a second one. But showing its fault, God says to them, (“Look, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will complete a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah.It will not be like the covenant that I made with their fathers, on the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they did not continue in My covenant and I had no regard for them, says the Lord.”

    (10; “For this is the covenant that I will establish with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord. I will put My laws in their minds and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be My people.”

    Greek: “I will be to them for a God and they will be to Me for a people,” following the Hebrew constructions of Jeremiah 31.

  Future knowledge when Satan is bound.

     (11-13; “And there will be no need at all for each one to teach his countryman or each one to teach his brother saying, Know the Lord, since they will all know Me, from the least to the greatest.” “For I will be merciful toward their evil deeds, and their sins I will remember no longer.” (Quote from Jeremiah 31:31-34.) When He speaks of a new covenant, He makes the first obsolete. Now what is growing obsolete and aging is about to disappear.”)

     Everything in the old tabernacle looked forward to the new covenant.

    (Hebrews 9:8-10; “The Holy Spirit is making clear that the way into the holy place had not yet appeared as long as the old tabernacle was standing. This was a symbol for the time then present, when gifts and sacrifices were offered that could not perfect the conscience of the worshiper. (10) They served only for matters of food and drink and various washings; they are external regulations imposed until the new order came.” Greek; “until the time of setting things right.”)

     It’s the mystery of God’s Spirit living in people, “circumcision of heart gifted miraculously to the called Believers IN.” The law isn’t abolished; its spiritual benefits are stamped in the minds of spiritually Believing IN people. I will put My laws in their minds and I will inscribe them on their hearts. And I will be their God and they will be My people.”

Heart Circumcision, chapter 26

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

God’s 1st month, Nisan 24, 5777 begins at sunset today: 4/20/2017 began at midnight. . To 4,350 “in resident churches” and individuals “called to follow Jesus.”

    Politicians, nations and denominations do compare themselves with one another, “do they not?” People do think themselves superior to one another, but where does such divisionary philosophies originate? Satan, the god of this age! He deceived Eve and Adam into deciding for themselves regarding good and evil. ““The serpent said to the woman “Surely you will not die, for God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will open and you will be like divine beings who know good and evil.”” Genesis 3:4-5. With Satan’s help they wanted to be divine; “thus be gods to themselves.” Choosing for ourselves “what to believe regarding right, wrong, good and evil is idolatry.” Trusting our intellect rather than God’s original word makes us our own little gods “which is idolatry.” People have been idolatrously yielding to Satan’s play book since creation.

     Today’s followers of Jesus, as were the Israelites of old, are a specifically and chosen called out people. A peculiar “believing IN people” misunderstood by the world. Jesus told us “if the world hated Him it would hate us.”

  Paul’s teaching regarding division.

     (2Cor 10:12-17; “For we would not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who recommend themselves. But when they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are without understanding. But we will not boast beyond certain limits, but will confine our boasting according to the limits of the work to which God has appointed us, that reaches even as far as you. (14) For we were not overextending ourselves, as though we did not reach as far as you, because we were the first to reach as far as you with the gospel about Christ. Nor do we boast beyond certain limits in the work done by others, but we hope that as your faith continues to grow, our work may be greatly expanded among you according to our limits, so that we may preach the gospel in the regions that lie beyond you, and not boast of work already done in another person’s area. (17) But the one who boasts must boast in the Lord. For it is not the person who commends himself who is approved, but the person the Lord commends.”)

     We need to understand that we should not boast of our understandings except in the Lord and then only to other like minded people. People that love to debate regarding good and evil like to turn our own words back on us when we affirm our beliefs are revealed. Thus they can say, “their beliefs are revealed.” The fact we must rely on God’s opening our minds can’t be overstated.

       Our Opponents compare with Paul’s

      (2Cor 11:1-3; “I wish that you would be patient with me in a little foolishness, but indeed you are being patient with me! For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy, because I promised you in marriage to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that just as the serpent deceived Eve by his treachery, your minds may be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.”

     Consider how Satan’s trickery led Eve from devotion to her Creator, appealing to Eve’s mind. First he questioned, “did God say?” Then he accused God of not being honest. Then he appealed to her fleshly desires and called God a liar. Satan was indeed proclaiming that Eve could be a god to herself.  

     (4-6; “For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus different from the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the one you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it well enough! For I consider myself not at all inferior to those “super-apostles.” (6) And even if I am unskilled in speaking, yet I am certainly not so in knowledge. Indeed, we have made this plain to you in everything in every way.”

     Paul knew as we must; “where his knowledge came from.

     (7-9; “Or did I commit a sin by humbling myself so that you could be exalted, because I proclaimed the gospel of God to you free of charge? I robbed other churches by receiving support from them so that I could serve you! When I was with you and was in need, I was not a burden to anyone, for the brothers who came from Macedonia fully supplied my needs. I kept myself from being a burden to you in any way, and will continue to do so.”

     Remember how Jesus met Paul in route to Damascus and opened his understanding?

    (10-12; “As the truth of Christ is in me, this boasting of mine will not be stopped in the regions of Achaia. Why? Because I do not love you? God knows I do! And what I am doing I will continue to do, so that I may eliminate any opportunity for those who want a chance to be regarded as our equals in the things they boast about.”)

      Others boasted about their trust in the law, about their credentials and heritages.

      (13-15;” For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions.”)

     Satan now has the western world “a people who once had God’s holy scriptures in every home” believing that God condones all sorts of beliefs, customs, and practices such as homosexuality. We need to consider the result of our practices.

  Paul allows his fleshly nature be exposed.

     (16-33; “I say again, let no one think that I am a fool. But if you do, then at least accept me as a fool, so that I too may boast a little. What I am saying with this boastful confidence I do not say the way the Lord would. Instead it is, as it were, foolishness. (18) Since many are boasting according to human standards, I too will boast. For since you are so wise, you put up with fools gladly. For you put up with it if someone makes slaves of you, if someone exploits you, if someone takes advantage of you, if someone behaves arrogantly toward you, if someone strikes you in the face. (21) (To my disgrace I must say that we were too weak for that!) But whatever anyone else dares to boast about (I am speaking foolishly), I also dare to boast about the same thing. Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ? (I am talking like I am out of my mind!) I am even more so: with much greater labors, with far more imprisonments, with more severe beatings, facing death many times. Five times I received from the Jews forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with a rod. Once I received a stoning. Three times I suffered shipwreck. A night and a day I spent adrift in the open sea. (26) I have been on journeys many times, in dangers from rivers, in dangers from robbers, in dangers from my own countrymen, in dangers from Gentiles, in dangers in the city, in dangers in the wilderness, in dangers at sea, in dangers from false brothers, in hard work and toil, through many sleepless nights, in hunger and thirst, many times without food, in cold and without enough clothing. (28) Apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxious concern for all the churches. Who is weak, and I am not weak? Who is led into sin, and I do not burn with indignation? If I must boast, I will boast about the things that show my weakness. The God and Father of the Lord Jesus, who is blessed forever, knows I am not lying. (32) In Damascus, the governor under King Aretas was guarding the city of Damascus in order to arrest me, but I was let down in a rope-basket through a window in the city wall, and escaped his hands.”) See Acts 9:25.

    Revelations and Thorns in the Flesh.

      (2Cor 12:1-5;” It is necessary to go on boasting. Though it is not profitable, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord. I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago (whether in the body or out of the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up to the third heaven. And I know that this man (whether in the body or apart from the body I do not know, God knows) was caught up into paradise and heard things too sacred to be put into words, things that a person is not permitted to speak. (5) On behalf of such an individual I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except about my weaknesses.”) 

      (Paradise is mentioned three times in the New Testament. In Luke 23:43 it refers to the abode of the righteous dead. In Rev 2:7 it refers to the restoration of Edenic paradise predicted in Isaiah 51:3 and Ezekiel 36:35. The reference here in 2Corinthians 12:4 is probably to be translated as parallel to the mention of the “third heaven” in v. 2. Assuming that the “first heaven” would be atmospheric heaven (the sky) and “second heaven” the more distant stars and planets, “third heaven” would refer to the place where God dwells. This is much more likely than some variation on the seven heavens mentioned in the pseudepigraphic book 2 Enoch and in other non-biblical and rabbinic works.)

     (2Cor 12:6-10; “For even if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I would be telling the truth, but I refrain from this so that no one may regard me beyond what he sees in me or what he hears from me, even because of the extraordinary character of the revelations. Therefore, so that I would not become arrogant, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to trouble me – so that I would not become arrogant. I asked the Lord three times about this, that it would depart from me. (9) But He said to me, “My grace is enough for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” So then, I will boast most gladly about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may reside in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, with insults, with troubles, with persecutions and difficulties for the sake of Christ, for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”)

     Paul was aware that God knew him for better than he knew himself. His education in the law, through the Pharisee Sanhedrin system and being personally taught in paradise would make a less spiritual person arrogant. So Paul was thankful for any measure of weakness for the sake of Christ.