Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Acts 2:39 – May 5, 2019

Acts 2:1-47

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.

And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting.

And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language.

And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?

And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born?

Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia,

10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes,

11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.

12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this?

13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine.

14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words:

15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day.

16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel;

17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy:

19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke:

20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come:

21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.

22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain:

24 Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it.

25 For David speaketh concerning him, I foresaw the Lord always before my face, for he is on my right hand, that I should not be moved:

26 Therefore did my heart rejoice, and my tongue was glad; moreover also my flesh shall rest in hope:

27 Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell, neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption.

28 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life; thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance.

29 Men and brethren, let me freely speak unto you of the patriarch David, that he is both dead and buried, and his sepulchre is with us unto this day.

30 Therefore being a prophet, and knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne;

31 He seeing this before spake of the resurrection of Christ, that his soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.

32 This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses.

33 Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

34 For David is not ascended into the heavens: but he saith himself, The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand,

35 Until I make thy foes thy footstool.

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made the same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

37 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?

38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.

39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.

41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;

45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.

46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,

47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

(Acts 2:1-47King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

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Your Daily Readings – Verse of the Day – Ezekiel 37:14 – Sunday 9, 2018

Ezekiel 37 King James Version (KJV)

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The hand of the Lord was upon me, and carried me out in the spirit of the Lord, and set me down in the midst of the valley which was full of bones,

And caused me to pass by them round about: and, behold, there were very many in the open valley; and, lo, they were very dry.

And he said unto me, Son of man, can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God, thou knowest.

Again he said unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord.

Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live:

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and ye shall live; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.

So I prophesied as I was commanded: and as I prophesied, there was a noise, and behold a shaking, and the bones came together, bone to his bone.

And when I beheld, lo, the sinews and the flesh came up upon them, and the skin covered them above: but there was no breath in them.

Then said he unto me, Prophesy unto the wind, prophesy, son of man, and say to the wind, Thus saith the Lord God; Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.

10 So I prophesied as he commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.

11 Then he said unto me, Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel: behold, they say, Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off for our parts.

12 Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.

13 And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, O my people, and brought you up out of your graves,

14 And shall put my spirit in you, and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land: then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it, saith the Lord.

15 The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying,

16 Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions:

17 And join them one to another into one stick; and they shall become one in thine hand.

18 And when the children of thy people shall speak unto thee, saying, Wilt thou not shew us what thou meanest by these?

19 Say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his fellows, and will put them with him, even with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in mine hand.

20 And the sticks whereon thou writest shall be in thine hand before their eyes.

21 And say unto them, Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land:

22 And I will make them one nation in the land upon the mountains of Israel; and one king shall be king to them all: and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all.

23 Neither shall they defile themselves any more with their idols, nor with their detestable things, nor with any of their transgressions: but I will save them out of all their dwellingplaces, wherein they have sinned, and will cleanse them: so shall they be my people, and I will be their God.

24 And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.

25 And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children’s children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.

26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

27 My tabernacle also shall be with them: yea, I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

28 And the heathen shall know that I the Lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.  King James Version (KJV) Public Domain

 

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False prophets and false teachers

To stone or not to stone

Ron Cantor  – 

Dan Juster, Ariel Blumenthal and Asher Intrater contributed to this article

Is someone who prophesies mistakenly a “false prophet”? Is someone who teaches in error a “false teacher”? For instance, we believe strongly in the Gifts of the Spirit. If another teacher teaches cessation (the idea that those gifts have ceased), is one of us a false teacher?

We maintain that there is a difference between teaching in error and being a false teacher. A false teacher is teaching false doctrine about Yeshua and leading people away from the true gospel doctrine. It is not merely someone who has made a mistake in his or her theology. If our standard is that we must be 100% right all the time in doctrine, then we all are false teachers to some degree—as we have all changed and/or tweaked our doctrinal understanding over the years.

The New Covenant is clear that false teachers and false prophets are not those who merely made a mistake, but are deceivers.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them—bringing swift destruction on themselves. (1 Peter 2:1)

Yeshua gave us a clear warning about the emergence of false prophets in the End Times:

And many false prophets will arise, and will mislead many…(they)will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect. (Matthew 24:11, 24)

false prophet in the New Covenant is not a believer who loves Yeshua, preaches the Gospel, moves in the power of the Holy Spirit, and is a recognized leader of the Body of Messiah, and yet happens to make a predictive prophecy that does not come to pass! (That’s just one way we might prophecy incorrectly).

This might have happened because they allowed their hopes and emotions to boil over, resulting in a kind of presumption—or for any other number of reasons. Biblically, a false prophet is an unbeliever (or former believer!) using demonic inspiration to draw people away from God and faith in Yeshua. The Torah also makes it clear that the primary issue was prophets/teachers whose words would lead the people astray, to abandon their faith and follow after “other gods.” (Deut. 13:1-5; 18:9-22)

Under Moses there were two ways to identify a false prophet.

  1. He spoke in the name of other gods.
  2. His word did not come to pass.

But in the New Testament Yeshua says, referring to false prophets:

By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. (Matt. 7:16-18)

So, again, when we speak of false prophets were not speaking of believers who preach Yeshua and have long lasting fruit in the kingdom—but one time publicly gave a presumptuous word, but rather we are speaking about cult leaders like David Koresh, Jim Jones or Charles Manson. In most cases the false prophet claims to be a messiah or the Messiah.

Let’s take a closer look at how the Scriptures teach this whole idea of prophecy under the New Covenant versus the Old.

New Testament Prophet/Prophecy

Revelation contains an important statement about the true nature of prophecy since Yeshua’s death, resurrection, ascension and outpouring of the Spirit. John sees the return of Yeshua and the wedding supper of the Lamb. An angel rebukes John for seeking to worship him and says:

“Do not do that; I am a fellow servant of yours and your brethren who hold the testimony of Jesus; worship God. For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.” (Rev. 19:10)

What does this mean? “For the testimony of Yeshua is the spirit of prophecy.”

This is a fundamental difference between Old and New Covenant prophecy: We prophesy to confirm the Gospel, the message of His life, the cross, resurrection, ascension, the new birth and indwelling and empowering of the Holy Spirit to all who believe, and the hope of His Second Coming to fully establish the Kingdom on earth…we have the full, prophetic revelation of everything God wants men to know in order to be saved!

Before Yeshua fulfilled all of these prophetic acts, the prophets:

…searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Messiah in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Messiah and the glories that would follow. (1 Peter 1:10-11)

By the Holy Spirit, the best the Old Testament prophets could do was to search for and predict the timing and nature of the events of the coming of the Messiah. But for us, we got it! It’s happened, it’s been preached, passed down and recorded in Holy Scripture.  When we respond to that prophetic message—Yeshua can save you—the Spirit of the Messiah himself causes us to be “born again” from above; and then the Holy Spirit makes His home in us, giving us an “anointing from the Holy One,” which leads us into all truth. (1 John 2:20, John 16:13).

This means that NT prophecy, and the gift/office of prophet is not what it used to be! We no longer predict the coming of Messiah, we proclaim it and prophetically call all men embrace it.

The Rock Comes Forth

Just look at Simon Peter (Rock) after Shavuot (Pentecost). Only 10 days earlier he still didn’t understand the gospel (see Acts 1:6-7), but moments after his immersion in the Holy Spirit, he speaks by the Spirit mysteries that had been hidden.

He quotes Joel about the outpouring. He quotes prophecies of King David, showing they were referring to the resurrection and the deity of Yeshua. He speaks like a world class theologian.

Seeing what was to come, [King David] spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, that he was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay.  God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it. Exalted to the right hand of God, he has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit and has poured out what you now see and hear. (Acts 2:31-33)

Where is the man who is rebuking Yeshua for saying that he was going to be crucified? Where is the disciple who denied Yeshua three times? Peter is uneducated, but through the spirit of prophecy, he shares the testimony of Yeshua.

In Acts 3, after the healing the crippled man, he speaks of the end times in the most marvelous way.

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Yeshua.  Heaven must receive him until the time comes for God to restore everything, as he promised long ago through his holy prophets. (3:19-21)

And before the Sanhedrin he was so intense and overpowering, they said:

When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus. (Acts 4:13)

Please go back and read Acts 2-4 and be amazed at how the Holy Spirt works through the uneducated Peter.

But what about False Prophets in the New Covenant?

The phrase false prophet is used 11 times in the New Testament, and it neverrefers to a believer. There is the False Prophet of the antichrist and Bar Jesus of Acts 13, “a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right!”and he was “seeking to turn the proconsul away from the faith.” (v. 8)

The other references refer to false messiahs and deceivers of the truth. Never, not once, is a child of God referred to as a false prophet—and yet, we know that every believer was encouraged to prophesy (1 Cor. 14:1). So, if one claims that someone who makes a mistake in prophecy is a false prophet, they are claiming that he is an unbeliever, presently and always, in line with the devil, seeking to deceive the body—despite repentance, loving Yeshua and bearing fruit for the kingdom—which is absurd.

Furthermore, we must ask ourselves: are prophecy and prophets exactly the same under the New Covenant as the Old Covenant? If so, should one who prophesies presumptuously be put to death? (Duet. 18:20). If that is our conclusion, then a host of others should be killed. But there is a clear difference.

Every Believer Should Seek to Prophesy

In the Old Covenant, God spoke almost exclusively through prophets. In the New Covenant, every believer is encouraged to seek to prophesy:

Follow the way of love and eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy…the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort. (1 Cor. 14:1, 3)

The Greek word translated eagerly desire is zéloó—where we get our word zeal. It is an onomatopoetic word, meaning it sounds like itself (like buzz) and it sounds in Greek like “boiling water”. In other words, we are to be boiling over with zeal for the gifts of the Spirit (as we “follow the way of love”). It should be something we pray for every day.

Now, if someone who makes a mistake in prophecy is then cut off from the Lord and deserving of death, why, then, is the apostle seeking to put the everyday believer in such a precarious and perilous position by encouraging him or her to seek to prophesy? And, yet, we know that under the New Covenant, it is not just prophets who prophesy, but every believer can do so. That is Peter’s meaning in quoting Joel in Acts 2—that God’s Spirit is not just for prophets, but all flesh, meaning, any believer who is hungry.

Prophecy is an objective word from heaven, but it is highly filtered through the subjective lens of the human vessel—through our emotions, our intellect, our theology,  and even our wounds and presumptions. Paul said, “We look through a glass darkly” and “We know in part and we prophesy in part.” (1 Cor. 13) Paul also says, “If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith.” (Romans 12:6) So, there must be the possibility of prophesying beyond your faith or presumptuously, as in Deuteronomy. In such cases, leaders should deal with that, but with the goal of restoration, not repudiation.

Paul says, “Do not quench the Spirit. Do not treat prophecies with contempt, but test them all; hold on to what is good.” (1 Thess. 5:19-21) What about that which is not good—or bad—and the people who falsely or presumptuously prophesied? Did they kill them? Did they label them permanently as false prophets, excommunicating them from the body of believers?  It seems not.

Something has Changed

The argument is very simple. Michael Brown has a chapter in his 2018 book Playing With Holy Fire: A Wake-Up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church on the problems and pitfalls of prophecy. He simply says that the standards of I Cor. 14 show that other prophets and leaders weigh prophecy in the New Covenant, and there is no hint that there is a penalty for making a mistake.

Obviously, something has changed. It is simply to note that the consensus of the Charismatic and Pentecostal world (and its scholarship) is that New Covenant prophecy does not function in the same way as the Mosaic covenant standards. It is that all might learn to hear from God and that leaders would be responsible to confirm (or not).

Because they did not have the Scriptures in the way that we do today, the word of the prophet was much weightier. A missed word could be the difference between life and death. With the New Covenant and the fuller revelation of Yeshua and the indwelling Holy Spirit, we are less dependent on prophets today—though they are needed—and more dependent on hearing God through His word and in personal time in prayer.

Need for Accountability

Indeed, there are many self-proclaimed prophets who do damage and take advantage of the Lord’s people. There is a horrible lack of accountability when it comes to public prophecy. We must do better! Please do not take this writing as an excuse for the plethora of silliness that is out there when it comes to prophecy and prophets. But we cannot throw out the baby with the bathwater (or drown him for being a false prophet!).

So, are we going to take the position that anyone who is not 100% accurate is a false prophet? Or can one make a mistake, repent and ask God for forgiveness, and seek to grow? Does not God forgive such things? Or, are we then disqualified for life? We are for mercy, but that should not be interpreted as taking prophecy light. It is no small thing to declare that you are speaking for the Lord. And one who does so presumptuously in public should submit to discipline by other leaders.

Tone it Down

One thing we can do is tone down our proclamations. We rarely, if ever, say, “The Lord told me…,” but use language like, “I sense that God might be saying…,” “The Holy Spirit bore witness with my spirit,” or, “I felt led of the Spirit.”

Making proclamations such as “Thus says the Lord…” places one in a precarious position and will rightly invite rebuke if you are wrong. It is always better to tone down the way in which we deliver prophetic words.

Accept for the account of Agabus in Acts 21, we do not see New Testament prophets saying “This is what the Lord says…” Rather, James’ tone, and he was the most senior apostle, is more low key in Acts 15 when he says, “It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us…” (Acts 15:28)

Function of the New Testament Prophet

  • A prophet can know things by the Spirit (Peter knowing that Ananias and Sapphira lied [Acts 5]).
  • He can sense one’s calling by the Spirit (Ananias to Paul [Acts 9] Prophets to Barnabas and Saul [Acts 13:1]).
  • Strengthen the body (Silas and Judas [Acts 15, Eph. 4]).
  • Proclaim the word of God in power. (Many examples such as [Acts 2, 10]).
  • Predict the future (Paul predicts that the false prophet Bar Jesus will be blind [Acts 13] or Agabus predicts a famine [Acts 11:28]).
  • Proclaim judgment on a believer or unbeliever (with Ananias and Sapphira [Acts 5], and Bar Jesus [Acts 13]).
  • Weigh the prophetic words of other prophets and non-prophets (Acts 14).

Final Word

False prophets go to hell or, at least, invite “swift destruction upon themselves” (2 Peter 2:1). They do not go around the world preaching the gospel and loving Yeshua. False prophets lead people away from Yeshua, as do false teachers. Just as a teacher’s doctrine can change over time, and he can make mistakes in his exegesis and hermeneutics, so, too, can a believer make a mistake in prophesy, repent, and be restored.

There can be no question that the New Covenant brings a higher level of mercy in regards to mistakes in prophecy and that believers are never referred to as false prophets. (Click to Source)

 

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G-d’s goodness overcomes all

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Throughout the Bible there are many places where, as believers, we read the text and immediately grieve in our hearts. One of the saddest dialogs is found in the book of Exodus, yet this same dialog takes place today and, unfortunately, too often we respond in exactly the same way without realizing what we are saying and doing.

In Exodus chapter 6:6-9, we find one of the most powerful promises Scripture contains.

Therefore say to Bnei-Yisrael: I am Adonai, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. I will take you to Myself as a people, and I will be your God. You will know that I am Adonai your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. So I will bring you into the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob, and give it to you as an inheritance. I am Adonai.” Moses spoke this way to Bnei-Yisrael, but they did not listen to him because of their broken spirit and cruel bondage.

According to verse 9, when Moses spoke these words to the Children of Israel, they did not listen to him because of their spiritual and physical condition. They looked at themselves and their circumstance and then judged G-D’s ability to fulfill His promises based upon their situation. Here, we see the Creator of the Universe reminding His people that He still loved them and remembered them and was going to redeem them and fulfill His promises. Yet, because the Children of Israel based G-D’s power and sovereignty on their current state of affairs, knowing how bad their spiritual and physical conditions were, they could not believe that G-D’s good could overcome their bad.

Reading these verses today, I know that some of you are in difficult circumstances right now. You know the promises G-D made and the redemption that was brought to you in Messiah Yeshua. You know who G-D is and can quote John 3:16, Romans 8:28, and Romans 9:9, as well as many other verses filled with promises from G-D by memory. Yet, you are looking at your situation in the same way that the Children of Israel viewed theirs. You may not be proclaiming your response vocally as the Children of Israel did to Moses, but your response is heard by G-D just as loudly. You are allowing your heart to believe that your problems, your Egypt, is more powerful than G-D’s promises.

So, let me remind you today that when G-D said these words to Moses to speak to the Children of Israel, they were at the lowest point in their lives physically and spiritually. Yet, none of their predicaments kept G-D from promising them that He would deliver them, He would restore their relationship with Him, and that He would bring them to the land of prosperity.

With this in mind, please remember this absolute truth: Your bad, no matter how large it appears to your heart and mind, will never, ever become larger or more powerful than G-D’s good. (Click to Source)

Top 30 Evidences for God

This article is a brief summary of the evidence supporting God’s existence.

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1. The Fine-Tuning Argument. The obvious fine-tuning of the world “proves” the existence of a “Designer.” Science has calculated the odds against our universe randomly taking a form suitable for life as: One in 10,000,000,000124 [Ravi Zacharias, The End of Reason, p. 35]
2. The Teleological Argument (Design). The obvious design (complexity) of the world “proves” the existence of a “Designer.” Science has estimated that the odds that intelligent life exists on the Earth as the result of non-directed processes to be around: One in 102,000,000,000 [Cited in Gary Habermas and Mike Licona, The Case for the Resurrection, 2004, p. 179]
3. The Moral Argument. The existence of a universal morality among humans “proves” the existence of a universal “Lawgiver.” If the evolutionary worldview were true, we would be advanced animals acting on chemical impulses. Absolute moral standards would not exist. But they do exist! See: Moral Argument (Proof God Exists)
4. The cosmological argument. The principle of cause and effect “proves” the existence of an “uncaused Cause.” Simply put, nothing cannot create something, and therefore, either the universe has always existed or something outside the universe has always existed. Scientific evidence shows us that the universe hasn’t always existed. Therefore, the something outside of the universe, that has always existed, is God. Furthermore, the characteristics of this something are the same characteristics that are attributed to God. This argument has a logical progression, and is rational, compared to the atheist’s argument.See: Cosmological Argument (Proof God Exists)
5. The Golden Ratio. In God’s creation, there exists a “Golden Ratio” (the mathematical constant of 1.618) that is exhibited in a multitude of shapes, numbers, and patterns whose relationship can only be the result of the omnipotent, good, and all-wise God of Scripture. See: The Golden Ratio: Amazing Proof of God
6. The Great Pyramid. Isaiah 19:19-20 tells us that The Great Pyramid shall be for a sign and for a witness unto the Lord”. It was built thousands of years ago, yet it contains extraordinary measurements of Earth and space that could not have been built even with today’s modern technology! People are more willing to believe that Egyptians used superior technology from alien visitors thousands of years ago! See: The Great Pyramid: Amazing Proof of God
7. Hidden Sevens in the Bible. The recurrence of the number seven – or an exact multiple of seven – is found throughout the Bible and is widely recognized. But there turns out to be much more below the surface. For example, in the first 17 chapters of Matthew Gospel, there are 42 such words (7 x 6) and they have 126 letters (7 x 18). Always an exact multiple of 7. These are just two features, there are 14 features, in total, in that chapter! What are the chances? In the 12 verse of Mark Gospel, the chances of this being random chance have been calculated at 54,116,956,037,952,111,668,959,660,849 to 1! It is absolutely, completely, and totally impossible to mathematically disprove this phenomenon. The overall validity of this discovery—the fact that God did it—is unimpeachable! And, of course, this phenomenon only occurs in the original Biblical Hebrew. See: Hidden Sevens in the Bible: Undeniable Proof
8. 101 Scientific Facts & Foreknowledge in the Bible. Scientific research continues to unfold the wonders and mysteries of our universe. Interestingly, the Bible has anticipated many of these scientific facts! Many of these facts were penned centuries before they were discovered. For example, the Bible shows circumcision on the eighth day is ideal (Genesis 17:12Leviticus 12:3Luke 1:59). Medical science has discovered that the blood clotting chemical prothrombin peaks in a newborn on the eighth day. This is therefore the safest day to circumcise a baby. How did Moses know?

The Bible says that light can be divided (Job 38:24). Sir Isaac Newton studied light and discovered that white light is made of seven colors, which can be “parted” and then recombined. Science confirmed this four centuries ago – God declared this four millennia ago!

The Pleiades and Orion star clusters described (Job 38:31). The Pleiades star cluster is gravitationally bound, while the Orion star cluster is loose and disintegrating because the gravity of the cluster is not enough to bind the group together. 4,000 years ago God asked Job, “Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion?” Yet, it is only recently that we realized that the Pleiades is gravitationally bound, but Orion’s stars are flying apart. See more: 101 Scientific Facts & Foreknowledge

9. The Shroud of Turin. It is considered to be the linen cloth the dead Jesus was wrapped in after He was crucified. It’s an ancient, sepia-colored, rectangular, 14.3 x 3.7 foot linen cloth woven in a three-to-one herringbone twill composed of flax fibrils with the front and the back image of a naked man with his hands folded across his groin on it. The Shroud of Turin is an icon of faith and controversy among Christians. We can’t be completely dogmatic about the Shroud of Turin, but there is certainly a high degree of probability that it is genuine. See: The Shroud of Turin: Evidence of Jesus’ Resurrection

10. America 9/11 terrorist attack predicted. The link between the 9/11 attack in America, and the attack on ancient Israel (Isaiah 9:10), is uncanny. For instance, both were attacked by Assyrian terrorists, both terrorists were Semitic people (children of the Middle East), both buildings in the attacks had fallen bricks, both had a sycamore tree cut down, both buildings were rebuilt with hewn stone, both sycamore trees were replaced with a cedar tree…etc. It’s unbelievable evidence of God. See: Ancient Israel & America: Uncanny Link
11. Biblical Shemitah years in America. The biblical Shemitah came every seven years to Israel, and brought cessation to production, trade and economic activity, and ultimately, a nullification to the nation’s financial realm, the wiping away of credit and debt. This ancient pattern, established by God, has manifested in modern America. From September to September is the Shemitah year and each of the crashes America’s experienced as a nation, for the last century, have been on a Shemitah year! People cannot understand why September is a historically bad month for stocks, however, it’s easy to understand why if you read God’s Word. This is further evidence for God. See: Biblical Shemitah Years: Beyond A Coincidence

12. Blood Moon Tetrads on feast dates. There have been 56 tetrads since Christ’s day, however the last 8 have fell on the first and last of the 7 “feasts of the LORD” (Lev. 23:4; cf. Gen 1:14). On God’s “appointed times”, just like He foretold in Genesis 1:14! And not just have they fallen on the seasons (appointed times), but they have also been for signs (things to come). See: Signs in the Sun, Moon & Stars – End Times
13. Rebirth of Israel, and recapture of Jerusalem, exact date predicted in the Bible. Not only was Israel becoming a nation prophesied, it was also prophesied down to the very date. And if that wasn’t enough proof for you, the recapture of Jerusalem was also prophesied to the very date! Two of Israel’s most significant end-time prophecies fulfilled, and predicted by date thousands of years beforehand! See: Israel Significant Dates: Prophesied in the Bible
14. Biblical archaeological discoveries. There have been thousands of Bible discoveries; but the wonder of it all is that even with all the overwhelming archaeological evidence, none has ever contradicted a single claim the Old and New Testament makes! See here.

15. Specific Bible verses have numbers and themes in the text of the Bible that seem to line up with the locations where the verses are found. This requires a supernatural author. For example, Matthew 24:42 is about the Day of the Lord. It is the 24th chapter, it’s about the DAY (24 hours) of the Lord; and the 42nd verse (reverse of 24) is the key verse to watch out for we don’t know when this DAY will occur. These three references to things related to 24 are all found in the 24,000th verse of the Bible (now that really sets it apart)! Mathematics shows it’s statistically impossible for this to be chance occurrence (calculated at billions to one could not be coincidence). See over 35 more examples here.

16. Donald Trump’s election and 7s. God’s hand was clearly present in Trump’s election. For example, he was 70 years, 7months and 7 days old on his first full day as president of the United States, and he defeated Hillary Clinton by 77 electoral votes…etc. Many take these numbers as a sign that Donald Trump was supposed to become the next president as the number 7 is very significant in The Bible and Revelation! The world was stunned that Hillary Clinton lost in a landslide victory to Donald Trump, since Clinton was heavily favored to win in virtually every poll conducted by our mainstream media. See: Donald Trump, Israel, & 7, coincidences?
17. Theomatics. Throughout the Bible, multiple factors and clustering (known as theomatics) is so consistent in words and phrases, that it boggles the mind. The major fact is that it happens so regularly, as to defy any mathematical odds. In other words, if God did not place this phenomenon into the text, then the numerical values for words and phrases would only produce “random” results. It is absolutely, completely, and totally impossible to mathematically disprove theomatics. See here.
18. Overwhelming evidence for a young earth and universe. There are over hundreds of evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe. For example, there is evidence of recent volcanic activity on Earth’s moon. This contradicts the supposed vast age – it should have long since cooled if it were billions of years old! If the sea had no sodium to start with, it would have accumulated its present amount in less than million years at today’s input and output rates. This is much less than the evolutionary age of the ocean, three billion years…etc. The list goes on. See: 101 evidences for a young age of the earth and the universe
19. Overwhelming evidence for Noah’s flood. Noah’s flood really happened, there is a flood of evidence for it in the fossil record. For example, fossilized jellyfish must have been rapidly buried because their soft bodies float and decay within hours of death. There are millions of fossilized jellyfish. It is not possible for trees to remain vertical for thousands of years while layers form around them. Yet we see thousands of them. We find fossils of sea creatures in rock layers that cover all the continents (more than a mile above sea level) contain marine fossils. Fossilized shellfish are even found in the Himalayas…etc. The list goes on. See here and here.
20. The spiritual realm. Testimonies of supernatural healings, demonic encounters, angelic encounters and many different spiritual experiences by generations of people all over the world speak of a reality/realm that exists beyond the physical. See: The Spiritual Realm: Evidence God Exists
21. The Bible. The New and Old Testament have an overwhelming amount of evidence supporting their reliability. In fact, the Bible should be enough Christian evidence for anyone since its reliability, alone, defies natural explanation. For example:

  •  If the average-sized manuscript were two and one-half inches thick, all the copies of the works of an average Greek author would stack up four feet high, while the copies of the New Testament would stack up to over a mile high!
  • 40 authors wrote the Bible over a period of 1,500 years, yet when the 66 books of the Bible with their 1,189 chapters made up of 31,173 verses are brought together (KJV), we find perfect harmony in the message they convey.

See more here.

22. End-time prophecies fulfilled. Bible prophecy is a fantastic proof for God’s existence. The fact that over hundreds of prophecies have been fulfilled, and have all converged, within the last century should be enough evidence for anyone. Approximately 2500 prophecies appear in the pages of the Bible, about 2000 of which already have been fulfilled to the letter – NO errors. The odds for all these prophecies having been fulfilled by chance without error is estimated at over one in 102000! See: 101 Last Days Prophecies
23. Historical records for Jesus. There was never any debate in the ancient world about whether Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure. The historical evidence for Jesus of Nazareth is both long-established and widespread. Within a few decades of his lifetime, he is mentioned by Jewish and Roman historians, as well as by dozens of Christian writings. See here.
24. “Torah Codes” and “ELS” (Equi-distant Letter Sequences). Instead of reading a text normally––one letter at a time––hidden words are looked for by reading the text every 2, or 3, or 4, (etc.), letters, skipping over the letters in between. For example, the first five books of the Bible are known as the Torah, and in each of these five books, in 50 letter increments, we find the letters spelling “Torah.”! In addition, the number 50 has several important meanings relating to Torah. What are the chances? The chance of just two appearances at intervals 50 is 1 in 400,000! See here.
25. Jesus’ number is in everything. The relationship between the two numbers, 792 and 3168, is foundational to the creation of the earth itself! It is evident that these two numbers are found to repeat all through the creation! Why these two numbers? Maybe because the Gematria value for “Lord Jesus Christ” in Greek is 3168, and in Hebrew is 792! See: Jesus’ Number in Everything: Amazing Proof
26. Laminin. The protein inside our body, called Laminin, has an extremely vital role in our bodies. So vital, that without it, we could literally cease to exist. What is it exactly that makes Laminin so special? It is a cell adhesion molecule that is organized into a specific structure and it dictates what job the cell performs in the body. In other words, it literally holds all the cell membranes in your body together. It is the glue of the human body. The cross-like shape of the laminin molecule is evidence of God’s hand in creation!

27. Planets aligned to form Jesus on the cross during crucifixion. On the day commonly viewed as that of Jesus’ actual crucifixion, April 3, 33 AD, the planets Saturn, Uranus, Jupiter, Earth and Venus aligned to form what looks like Jesus on the cross with the head, the hands spread out and the legs together in accurate positioning, rotation and on a galactic scale. Indeed, even Saturn’s rings can be viewed as representing the ‘halo’ or ‘crown of thorns.’ This alignment appears to have occurred only six times between the year 0 and 2000 A.D.
28. Hidden name of God in DNA. YHWH is used almost 7,000 times throughout the Bible as the only and unique name of the Mighty One of Israel (God). The four elements that make up human DNA: Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Oxygen, and Carbon, when converted to letters, based upon their matching values of atomic mass, spell YHWG!
The last letter (G) is the “stuff” that gives us the color, taste, texture, and sounds of our body: carbon. If we were to replace the final H in YHWH with its chemical equivalent of nitrogen, YHWH becomes the elements that are all all colorless, odorless, and invisible gases!

Just as the first chapters of Genesis relate that it is in a nonphysical form (invisible) that the Creator was present during the time of creation: It was “the spirit of YHWH” that first moved over the face of the earth. (Genesis 1:2). The one letter that sets us apart from YHWH is also the element that makes us “real” in our world – carbon. Evidence of God’s hand in creation! 

29. Cross at centre of galaxy. The Hubble Space Telescope took a picture of the center of the Whirlpool galaxy, M51. The cross-like shape is evidence of God’s hand in creation!

30. Pillar shields Israel from the Islamic State. On the 1st December 2016, the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorists had been hammering Israel along their border for several days, almost defeating Israel, when, on the fourth day, a large cloud pillar formed within minutes, so thick it made for zero visibility. This strange storm of what appeared to be dust, cloud and rain did NOT cross the border fence into Israel. It sat like a barrier between ISIS and Israel. This is evidence of God protecting Israel as He promised.

There are numerous other evidences for God’s existence. If you know of greater evidence for God, than the top 30 shared in this article, let us know in the comments below! (Click to Source)

Torah Commentary – Lech Lecha (Get Yourself Out) – One Man Was Listening – SCRIPTURES FOR October 28, 2017

Torah Commentary
Lech Lecha (Get Yourself Out)

jesus-in-the-synagogue

Gen 12:1-17:27
Isaiah 40:27-41:16
Acts 7:1-8
Romans 3:19-5:6
Hebrews 7:1-19; 11:8-12
 
One Man Was Listening
I was talking to a Jewish friend with a number of other people in the room a few of years ago. During the conversation someone said, “God spoke to me” and went on to state what they thought they had heard. After the crowd left my Jewish friend looked at me with a facial expression I have seen many times. A look which normally means I am about to learn something very important. He brought up the “God told me” statement and proceeded to explain why he would not make a statement like that. It was not that he believes HaShem does not speak to people, but rather his explanation brought a greater meaning to the dialogue between the Creator and His creation. My friend’s explanation went like this. God is always speaking, so to say “God told me” is to say He only speaks on occasion. A better way for this person to have explained their encounter would be to say, “In a moment that I was listening…”
Allow me to expound a bit. Is there ever a time in which HaShem is not speaking? I would say “no”. His voice is in world events, creation itself and even conversations we are having with others around us. The question is, “Are we listening for His voice in those things and at those times?”
In Genesis 12 we read of a dialogue between HaShem and a man named Abram. It appears from the text that he hears an audible voice, but was his hearing the audible voice due to his learning to hear an inaudible one? Let me explain. As Abram grew up in Ur and later in Haran, did he witness the sin and depravity of the culture and wonder if there had to be a better way of living? If so, he heard His voice. If ancient writings are true and his father was a seller of idols, did he look at them and consider they were just carvings of wood and stone? If so, he heard His voice. Did he look up to the stars at night and wonder just who it was that created the heavens and the earth? If so, he heard His voice.
My point is that Abram had made a lifestyle out of listening to the ever speaking voice of HaShem. On that now infamous day when the inaudible became the audible it was as natural to follow that voice as it was for Abram to breathe.
There is another person in the story though that does not get much credit until later. Her name is Sara. Scripture does not record her hearing a voice. That is not until Abram came home and told her to pack her bags as they were moving to a new place. From the text it appears that Sara did not question Abram’s decision, but started packing. How could she do this? I believe it was because she had been listening for the voice of HaShem as Abram had.
When Abram came home with the news, Sara did not need to get alone and pray, because the inaudible voice she had been hearing had now become audible through her husband’s voice. On that day, her husband’s voice and the Creator’s voice matched exactly. No questions were needed.
Through the next few weeks we will see the journey of Abram and Sara continuing to follow HaShem’s voice. We will read of the times their hearing was good and the times it was not so good. I am so thankful Father did not just give us the successes of this couple. If he had, the standard would have been too high to reach. I am also grateful He did not only record their failures as it would cause us to not even try. The successes and failures give me hope; for it tells me Abram and Sara were human, flesh and blood like you and me.
In Genesis chapter 17 HaShem tells Abram to “Walk before me and be perfect.” Thankfully the word translated perfect is not the best meaning for the word. In Hebrew it is tamiym and means entire, complete and whole. In the Complete Jewish Bible, David Stern translates it as pure-hearted. Other translations use whole-hearted. The Hebrew spelling is tav, mem, yod, mem. It is a picture of waters coming together and merging into covenant as one. Think about that for a moment. Have you ever seen two rivers come together? They don’t struggle to become one river, they just do. Flowing in covenant with our Creator should be no more difficult than two rivers combining into one. That is, if we have learned to “listen” to the direction we are supposed to flow.
Shalom and Be Strong,
Mike Clayton

Torah Commentary – B’resheet (In the beginning) – Noach (Noah) – The End Justified the Beginning – SCRIPTURES FOR October 21, 2017

Torah Commentary

B’resheet (In the beginning)

Noach (Noah)

1977-jesus-of-naz-synagogue1

Genesis 1:1-11:32
Isaiah 42:5-43:10
John 1:1-18
Revelation 21:1-5; 22:1-5
Note: To catch up with the Torah cycle this is two portions combined
The End Justified the Beginning
We begin another Torah cycle! I express this with anticipation. Many “new to Torah” folks may question why we read through and study the same five books year after year. Allow me to answer the question by asking the seasoned Torah pursuers, “Was anything new revealed to you as you read through the Torah last year that you had not seen in previous years?” I imagine there is not a single “no” out there, so a shout of exuberance, “Here we go again”!
It is in this section of our readings that makes me wish I was on the three year Torah cycle. Actually, that is not completely true. Skip the three year cycle and let’s jump to the thousand year millennial cycle with Messiah teaching it from Jerusalem. This portion carries so much meaning that I desire to camp out at each sentence.
Honestly, I am having a very difficult time getting through the first verse this year. This is not uncommon, although this year seems to have more meaning. I have been meditating on this verse in light of Isaiah 46:10, “At the beginning I announce the end, proclaim in advance things not yet done; and I say that my plan will hold, I will do everything I please to do.” A more literal translation of the verse would be “HaShem declared the end out of the beginning.” I recognize we understand that He knows all things, but have we considered He declared that all things would happen even before they happened. This means HaShem knew Eve would listen to the serpent instead of Him. Cain killing Abel was no surprise. He knew man would become so corrupt He would have to kill all but eight people and start over. HaShem knew that for six-thousand years man would repeatedly turn his back on his Creator. In fact, the Hebrew word “nagad”, which is translated “declared” is a picture of a man walking away from the teachings and instructions of Yah.
On a personal level we recognize HaShem knew my sins and yours. All of our days are numbered and no surprise to Him. He even knew that after you and I turned back to His ways that we would fail. Yet, His grace is sufficient. His love is endless. We have the gift of repentance and Yeshua’s Blood to atone for us. Father’s Love is great. His desire for a relationship with us in spite of our shortcomings is humbling.
Now here is a challenging question for you. Had you been HaShem knowing all man would do against you for six-thousand years. If you knew in advance the pain for man’s rebellion and had a choice to go forth with Genesis 1:1, what would you have done? Consider that for a moment. Truth is He made a choice I am not sure I would have made. Why did He?
The answer lies in a single word of the verse in Isaiah which is “end.” Yah did not focus on the process, but rather the end result. What is the end result? Take a moment and read Revelation 21:1-4. Therein lays the answer to why Father made the choice to go forth with Genesis 1:1. It’s all about relationship to have a people that would be His and He would be theirs.
Where is our vision as we read these first words of Genesis 1:1? What do we plan to focus on during this next Torah cycle? I would challenge you to focus, not on what has been or what is, but rather on what will be. When you read again the words, “In the beginning Elohim created the heavens and the earth”, allow your mind to consider the love, mercy, grace and desire our Heavenly Father has to look past the process of redemption and see the destination called redemption. This truth in itself will continue to help us put one foot in front of the other in our journey.
One more challenge as we begin this Torah cycle. Many of us have read through the Torah several times. With that comes the hazard of just glancing through the verses. Consider this a good time to think about reading in a different translation. This may help notice messages in Scripture we have never seen before. Remember that even the people’s names and genealogies have great meaning. Take time to pull out your concordance to do some research. An example that many of us know is located in Beresheet Chapter 5. Genealogy can make you glassy eyed, right? In this particular case the meanings of the names form a sentence and witness to Messiah, which is “Man is appointed to mortal sorrow, but the blessed Elohim shall come down teaching that His death shall bring the despairing comfort.” How is that for declaring the end out of the beginning?
May our year be filled with Yah’s Spirit of revelation. Not revelation for our intellect, but rather to prepare us to be a people He is proud to call His. (Click to Site)

 

Torah Commentary – Re’eh (See) – See, Perceive or Selah – SCRIPTURES FOR August 19, 2017

Torah Commentary
Re’eh (See)
Deuteronomy 11:26-16:17
Isaiah 54:11-55:5
1Corinthians 5:9-13
1John 4:1-6

yeshuatheMessiah

See, Perceive or Selah
The title of this Torah portion is translated very simply with the word “see.” This small simple word can be taken for granted by some.  For the vast majority of the people in this country, “seeing” is the first thing they do every morning. People wake up, open their eyes to see, or depending on your optical ability, at least look at the images our eyes are allowing their brains to discern. I question whether there is a difference between seeing or looking?
In Hebrew the word is re’eh. The word has the meaning of looking at something with our eyes, but that is not the context in how it’s being used here. The Hebrew meaning is for us to perceive and consider something so as to bring forth discernment. Many of you may relate to the example I’m going to use to explain my point. Most people wake up in the morning head to the bathroom to begin their daily routine to make themselves presentable before leaving home. Many of us find in the mirror the proverbial “bed head” look with hair going every direction. As one makes sense of the new style their pillow created they might find a few gray hairs that certainly could not have been there the day before.
How you handle these sneaky little gray hairs is what brings forth my point. Will you make a mental note of the location of these sly little hairs to pluck them out, hide them with a new hairstyle or run to the local Wal-Mart to grab a bottle of hair color? Are these little gray hairs a frightful unwanted sight or do they bring you to a place of introspection? Do you just “see” the gray hair or do look deeper to evaluate the Scriptural meaning behind gray hair and how it’s interpreted. Do you perceive what is happening in your life regarding your maturity and reflect on decisions you are making? The gray hair is a sign to us to ponder if we are learning the lessons life has been trying to teach us or traveling around the same mountain of mistakes. Are you gaining wisdom through maturity or just going gray? (Click to Site)