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Monday, December 17, 2012

One Dog, One Bone



…One Dog, One Bone…
(Exo 32:6-14 CJB)
Early the next morning they got up and offered burnt offerings and presented peace offerings. Afterwards, the people sat down to eat and drink; then they got up to indulge in revelry. Adonai said to Moshe, "Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have cast a metal statue of a calf, worshipped it, sacrificed to it and said, 'Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!' " Adonai continued speaking to Moshe: "I have been watching these people; and you can see how stiffnecked they are. Now leave me alone, so that my anger can blaze against them, and I can put an end to them! I will make a great nation out of you instead." Moshe pleaded with Adonai his God. He said, "Adonai, why must your anger blaze against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don't bring such disaster on your people! Remember Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, your servants, to whom you swore by your very self. You promised them, 'I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky; and I will give all this land I have spoken about to your descendants; and they will possess it forever.' "
Adonai then changed his mind about the disaster he had planned for his people.[1]

(Exo 32:31-35 CJB)
Moshe went back to Adonai and said, "Please! These people have committed a terrible sin: they have made themselves a god out of gold. Now, if you will just forgive their sin!
But if you won't, then, I beg you, blot me out of your book which you have written!"
Adonai answered Moshe,
"Those who have sinned against me are the ones I will blot out of my book.
Now go and lead the people to the place I told you about; my angel will go ahead of you. Nevertheless, the time for punishment will come; and then I will punish them for their sin." Adonai struck the people with a plague because they had made the calf, the one Aharon made.[2]

 (Exo 33:12-17 CJB)
Moshe said to Adonai , "Look, you say to me, 'Make these people move on!' But you haven't let me know whom you will be sending with me.
 Nevertheless you have said, 'I know you by name,' and also, 'You have found favor in my sight.' Now, please, if it is really the case that I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways; so that I will understand you and continue finding favor in your sight. Moreover, keep on seeing this nation as your people."
He answered, "Set your mind at rest — my presence will go with you, after all."
Moshe replied, "If your presence doesn't go with us, don't make us go on from here. For how else is it to be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, other than by your going with us? That is what distinguishes us, me and your people, from all the other peoples on earth."
Adonai said to Moshe, "I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."[3]


Before we go into today’s lesson, I’d like to take just a few minutes and give you a little background on the festival we celebrate at this time of year, Chanukah. This festival is appropriately called the “Festival of Lights”, yet the word Chanukah means “dedication”. Chanukah occurs in the Hebrew month of Kislev, and it is a month in which the rains traditionally fall in Israel. I’d like to read for you from a recent article on the First Fruits of Zion website, a Messianic site, concerning this month and the festival of Chanukah…
“…As the rains that started during Cheshvan continue to nourish the land of Israel, the temperatures begin to drop. Daylight hours dwindle away and the long, dark nights of Kislev begin. One cannot help but naturally feel slightly melancholy and glum during the winter seasons. Thankfully, God has given us many reasons to rejoice during this season.
On the 25th of Kislev, the anniversary of the rededication of the Temple is celebrated for eight days. This festival is customarily known as Hanukkah. For thousands of years, the Jewish people have remembered the miracles God performed for the Maccabees. They were not only able to stand up to the persecution of the Syrian-Greeks, but were also able to rededicate the defiled Temple. A frequent phrase heard during this season is "nes gadol hayah sham," a great miracle happened there.
Though this has been a time-honored celebration by the Jewish people, the earliest attestation to the celebration of Hanukkah is not from Josephus or the Mishnah, but the Gospel of John. In John 10:22-42, the Master was present at Temple in Jerusalem during Hanukkah. Just like his previous visit during Sukkot, the crowds were eager for him to announce his kingship as the Messiah. "If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly" (John 10:24).
Relating to the story of Hanukkah, the Master points out that he had already told them, "the works that I do in my Father's name, these testify of me" (10:25). For both the Maccabees and the Master, the presence of God's miracles signified his approval of their efforts. Both sought to uphold the true standard of Torah in the face of opposition. For the Maccabees, Hellenist Jews and Syrian-Greek persecutors opposed them. For the Master, unbelieving Pharisees and Sadducees challenged his teaching of Torah and the Kingdom of God.
In both situations, the miracles were present for all to see. Unfortunately, miracles do not produce faith; they sustain faith already existent. In the days of the Maccabees, the Hellenists refused to remain true to Torah. In the days of the Master, the unbelievers refused to believe in the One sent from the Father.
The same is true in our day. Miracles are there if one chooses to recognize them. The Amidah prayer expresses it this way: God's miracles are "with us every day" and his wonders and favors are "in every season." Yet, many ignore the miracles that sustain us day in, day out. It takes great faith to acknowledge miracles.
May your Hanukkah be filled with the remembrance of the miracles in the lives of our forefathers, the miracles present in our daily lives, and most of all, the miracle of the salvation made available through the One who was sent from the Father-Yeshua the Messiah!...”[4]

It is in this season that we also seek to re-dedicate our “temple” to Yahoveh, the Father of Lights. Our bodies are is temple, the dwelling place for the Ruach Ha’Kodesh, the Holy Spirit, and it is here in this season that miracles do happen. That is the purpose of the Hebraic Roots movement, to show the Father as Yeshua saw Him, to present Him to all who will see. May this season bring you closer to Him and to His Son.
So, on with our study…
Growing up on a farm in the Midwest gave me an opportunity that fewer and fewer children have now-a-days, and that is the opportunity to touch nature, to understand the relationship found in tilling the soil and caring for animals. We had cows, chickens, sheep, pigs, dogs and cats… Many lessons were learned, though some of them took several years before the importance of what was learned was realized. Instead of a catalogue of incidents too many to recount, let me just give you one: my mother was a magnet for strays. People for whatever reason they had came into the country and dumped their unwanted animals, (i.e. cats and dogs), and it just seemed as if our house was the focal point of the dumping ground. We’d come out the back porch and find a sick cowering puppy or kitten curled up on the porch and Mom never turned one away. If they were sick, she healed them, if they were hungry she fed them. The short of it was she loved them, and they returned that love to her. My father would come home from work, see if we had any unannounced arrivals and if  there were any new additions, he just shook his head and made peace with the newcomer, for he knew there was no argument that would win the day for one less stray. Dad would have quite the menagerie that followed him at times to the barn; the dogs herded the animals he needed, the cats took their turns at the milk barn and kept the homestead free from mice and rats. Puppies and kittens could get out of hand, but even at the height of a population boom of pups and who knows how many kittens, it was ok. We kept some, and gave others away to good homes; it was a good time.
Now what does this have to do with the matter at hand? One thing about living on a farm, you had meat to eat. And there were always stew bones to give to the dogs. Dad told me one time “…one dog, one bone… keeps everybody happy.” That was then. What about now?
I’m afraid the world has adopted the “one dog one bone” attitude, but with a slightly skewed twist: instead of meaning “something for everybody”, it now means “I got mine, you get yours”. It seems as if society has forgotten that there is an obligation to care for those in need. I am not talking about the government confiscation of wealth in some utopian dream of re-distribution of wealth; that idea goes against the will of God, for we have forgotten or at least overlooked one of the most important commandments we are to live by:

(Exo 20:8-11 CJB)
ד "Remember the day, Shabbat, to set it apart for God.
You have six days to labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Shabbat for Adonai your God.
On it, you are not to do any kind of work — not you, your son or your daughter, not your male or female slave, not your livestock, and not the foreigner staying with you inside the gates to your property. For in six days, Adonai made heaven and earth, the sea and everything in them; but on the seventh day he rested. This is why Adonai blessed the day, Shabbat, and separated it for himself.

Six days we are to work, and rest on the Shabbat; those who insist upon a welfare state forget what Scripture tells us of the one who won’t work…
(Pro 13:4 CJB)
The lazy person wants but doesn't have; the diligent get their desires filled.

(Pro 20:4 CJB)
A lazy person won't plow in winter; so at harvest-time, when he looks, there is nothing.

(Pro 24:30-34 CJB)
I passed by the field of the lazy man and the vineyard of the man lacking sense. There it was, overgrown with thistles; the ground was covered with nettles, and its stone wall was broken down. I looked, and I thought about it; I saw, and I learned this lesson: "I'll just lie here a bit, rest a little longer, just fold my hands for a little more sleep" —and poverty comes marching in on you, scarcity hits you like an invading soldier.

In Genesis 3 God tells Adam: “… the ground  (is) cursed on your account; you will work hard to eat from it as long as you live. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat field plants. You will eat bread by the sweat of your forehead till you return to the ground — for you were taken out of it: you are dust, and you will return to dust… (Gen 3:17-19 CJB)

Rabbi Sha’ul (Paul) tells us this:
(1Th 4:11-12 MKJV)
and that you try earnestly to be quiet and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may walk becomingly toward those outside, and that you may lack nothing.

And again:

(2Th 3:6-12 MKJV)
Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly, and not after the teaching which he received from us. For you yourselves know how you ought to follow us. For we did not behave ourselves disorderly among you, neither did we eat any man's bread freely, but we worked with labor and travail night and day, so that we might not be heavy on any of you (not because we do not have authority, but to make ourselves an example to you, to imitate us). For even when we were with you, we commanded you this, that if anyone would not work, neither should he eat. For we hear that there are some who walk disorderly among you, not working at all, but being busybodies. Now we command and exhort those who are such, by our Lord Jesus Christ, that they work with quietness and eat their own bread.

This isn’t of course to say we have no obligation to care for the poor. Those that need help should be able to come to the House of God and receive that help. Ya’akov (James) tells us this:

(Jas 1:27 MKJV)
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, to visit orphans and widows in their afflictions, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.

Yesha’yah (Isaiah) tells us:
(Isa 58:5-14 CJB)
"Is this the sort of fast I want, a day when a person mortifies himself? Is the object to hang your head like a reed and spread sackcloth and ashes under yourself? Is this what you call a fast, a day that pleases Adonai?
"Here is the sort of fast I want — releasing those unjustly bound, untying the thongs of the yoke, letting the oppressed go free, breaking every yoke, sharing your food with the hungry, taking the homeless poor into your house, clothing the naked when you see them, fulfilling your duty to your kinsmen!"
Then your light will burst forth like the morning, your new skin will quickly grow over your wound; your righteousness will precede you, and Adonai's glory will follow you. Then you will call, and Adonai will answer; you will cry, and he will say, "Here I am."
If you will remove the yoke from among you, stop false accusation and slander, generously offer food to the hungry and meet the needs of the person in trouble; then your light will rise in the darkness, and your gloom become like noon. Adonai will always guide you; he will satisfy your needs in the desert, he will renew the strength in your limbs; so that you will be like a watered garden, like a spring whose water never fails.
You will rebuild the ancient ruins, raise foundations from ages past, and be called "Repairer of broken walls, Restorer of streets to live in." "If you hold back your foot on Shabbat from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call Shabbat a delight, Adonai's holy day, worth honoring; then honor it by not doing your usual things or pursuing your interests or speaking about them. If you do, you will find delight in Adonai — I will make you ride on the heights of the land and feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Ya`akov, for the mouth of Adonai has spoken."

So it is scriptural to care for the weak, the homeless, the hurting, the poor, the widow and the orphan… but it is not scriptural to take from one man and give to another that refuses to work; this only leads to bondage and quickly destroys a society. What also destroys a society is one that will not care for those who have needs; both systems are ruled by “one dog, one bone – I got mine, you get yours”. What we need is system that returns us to the values of Moshe, of Yeshua. Let us look…
In our opening scriptures what did we see?
(Exo 32:6-14 CJB)
Early the next morning they got up and offered burnt offerings and presented peace offerings. Afterwards, the people sat down to eat and drink; then they got up to indulge in revelry. Adonai said to Moshe, "Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt! So quickly they have turned aside from the way I ordered them to follow! They have cast a metal statue of a calf, worshipped it, sacrificed to it and said, 'Isra'el! Here is your god, who brought you up from the land of Egypt!' " Adonai continued speaking to Moshe: "I have been watching these people; and you can see how stiffnecked they are. Now leave me alone, so that my anger can blaze against them, and I can put an end to them! I will make a great nation out of you instead." Moshe pleaded with Adonai his God. He said, "Adonai, why must your anger blaze against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand? Why let the Egyptians say, 'It was with evil intentions that he led them out, to slaughter them in the hills and wipe them off the face of the earth'? Turn from your fierce anger! Relent! Don't bring such disaster on your people! Remember Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, your servants, to whom you swore by your very self. You promised them, 'I will make your descendants as many as the stars in the sky; and I will give all this land I have spoken about to your descendants; and they will possess it forever.' "
Adonai then changed his mind about the disaster he had planned for his people.[5]
Here we see Yahoveh chastening Moshe for the people He says Moshe brought out of Egypt…”… Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt!...” He then tells Moshe to “…leave me alone, so that my anger can blaze against them, and I can put an end to them! I will make a great nation out of you instead…”
In our present culture, Moshe could of grasped power, fame and glory for himself if he had the “one dog one bone” mindset. He could have stepped aside and let God rout the children of Israel and let God bring forth a new people from him, but what did Moshe do? He argued back to God:  “…Adonai, why must your anger blaze against your own people, whom you brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and a strong hand?...” Moshe reminded God that they weren’t his (Moshe’s) people, but rightly they belonged to Elohim. He reminded God of His promises to “…Avraham, Yitz'chak and Isra'el, your servants, to whom you swore by your very self…”  Moshe thought first of the reputation and honor of God, that it would not be besmirched in the nations if God did not keep His promises; then he thought of the people, pleading with God to spare them.
In the second example what did we see?
(Exo 33:12-17 CJB)
Moshe said to Adonai , "Look, you say to me, 'Make these people move on!' But you haven't let me know whom you will be sending with me.
 Nevertheless you have said, 'I know you by name,' and also, 'You have found favor in my sight.' Now, please, if it is really the case that I have found favor in your sight, show me your ways; so that I will understand you and continue finding favor in your sight. Moreover, keep on seeing this nation as your people."
He answered, "Set your mind at rest — my presence will go with you, after all."
Moshe replied, "If your presence doesn't go with us, don't make us go on from here. For how else is it to be known that I have found favor in your sight, I and your people, other than by your going with us? That is what distinguishes us, me and your people, from all the other peoples on earth."
Adonai said to Moshe, "I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name."[6]

God is still angry at the people; we see in Exo 33:5:

Adonai said to Moshe, "Tell the people of Isra'el, 'You are a stiffnecked people!
If I were to go up with you for even one moment, I would exterminate you!
Now, keep your ornaments off; then I will decide what to do to you.' "

Moshe was pleading with God to keep seeing Israel as His people; God answered him by saying:
“…He answered, "Set your mind at rest — my presence will go with you, after all…”
What we do not see in the English versions of this Scripture, but the “you” God speaks of in verse 14 is singular, not plural. The only person God is offering to send His presence with is Moshe. Moshe will have none of it: all of us or none of us God he says. You can almost hear God sigh at this point, and He agrees: “…I will also do what you have asked me to do, because you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name…”
Where are you today? Do your prayers include the plight of others or just yourself? The church has turned salvation into a “one dog one bone”; yes, it is true that Paul said in Philippians 2:12 :

“…Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, cultivate your own salvation with fear and trembling…”

So salvation is a personal thing, between one and God, yet why do we stop there? Paul also reminds us of Messiah’s view..

(Rom 5:1-10 CJB)
So, since we have come to be considered righteous by God because of our trust, let us continue to have shalom with God through our Lord, Yeshua the Messiah. Also through him and on the ground of our trust, we have gained access to this grace in which we stand; so let us boast about the hope of experiencing God's glory. But not only that, let us also boast in our troubles; because we know that trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope; and this hope does not let us down, because God's love for us has already been poured out in our hearts through the Ruach HaKodesh who has been given to us.
 For while we were still helpless, at the right time, the Messiah died on behalf of ungodly people. Now it is a rare event when someone gives up his life even for the sake of somebody righteous, although possibly for a truly good person one might have the courage to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in that the Messiah died on our behalf while we were still sinners.
Therefore, since we have now come to be considered righteous by means of his bloody sacrificial death, how much more will we be delivered through him from the anger of God's judgment! For if we were reconciled with God through his Son's death when we were enemies, how much more will we be delivered by his life, now that we are reconciled!

Yeshua himself said:

(John 15:6-14 CJB)
Unless a person remains united with me, he is thrown away like a branch and dries up. Such branches are gathered and thrown into the fire, where they are burned up. "If you remain united with me, and my words with you, then ask whatever you want, and it will happen for you. This is how my Father is glorified — in your bearing much fruit; this is how you will prove to be my talmidim. "Just as my Father has loved me, I too have loved you; so stay in my love.
If you keep my commands, you will stay in my love — just as I have kept my Father's commands and stay in his love.
I have said this to you so that my joy may be in you, and your joy be complete.
"This is my command: that you keep on loving each other just as I have loved you. No one has greater love than a person who lays down his life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do what I command you.”

This is not a “one dog, one bone” attitude. He laid down His life for us. Moshe was willing to give up all he had been promised just to keep the nation of Israel in God’s favor; even Paul spoke of this unselfish attitude:


(Rom 9:1-5 CJB)
I am speaking the truth — as one who belongs to the Messiah, I do not lie; and also bearing witness is my conscience, governed by the Ruach HaKodesh: my grief is so great, the pain in my heart so constant, that I could wish myself actually under God's curse and separated from the Messiah, if it would help my brothers, my own flesh and blood, the people of Isra'el!
They were made God's children, the Sh'khinah has been with them, the covenants are theirs, likewise the giving of the Torah, the Temple service and the promises; the Patriarchs are theirs; and from them, as far as his physical descent is concerned, came the Messiah, who is over all. Praised be Adonai for ever! Amen.

Now before I go on, I want you to understand one thing. That one thing is the Gospel. What is the Gospel? Noah Webster defined it as this:
“…Gospel
GOS'PEL, n. [L. evangelium, a good or joyful message.]

The history of the birth, life, actions, death, resurrection, ascension and doctrines of Jesus Christ; or a revelation of the grace of God to fallen man through a mediator, including the character, actions, and doctrines of Christ, with the whole scheme of salvation, as revealed by Christ and his apostles. This gospel is said to have been preached to Abraham, by the promise, "in thee shall all nations be blessed." Gal 3:8.

It is called the gospel of God. Rom 1:1.

It is called the gospel of Christ. Rom 1:16.

It is called the gospel of salvation. Eph 1:13….”[7]

The word “Gospel” means “good news”. Remember how I told you to study the Bible? With the questions who, what, when, where, why and how? Well ask yourself, “Good news” to who? About what? When was it proclaimed? Where was it spoken? Why was it “good news”? How was it supposed to be disseminated and understood?
Beloved, the Gospel message is about restoration; the restoration of all things to God the Father, through the atoning death and resurrection of His Son Yeshua. It is about what all of Scripture revolves around: the restoration of the House of Israel and the House of Judah. It is about the new covenant, the B’rit Hadashah as spoken by Yirmeyah (Jeremiah)…
(Jer 31:31-34 CJB)
"Here, the days are coming," says Adonai, "when I will make a new covenant with the house of Isra'el and with the house of Y'hudah.  It will not be like the covenant I made with their fathers on the day I took them by their hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt; because they, for their part, violated my covenant, even though I, for my part, was a husband to them," says Adonai.  "For this is the covenant I will make with the house of Isra'el after those days," says Adonai: "I will put my Torah within them and write it on their hearts; I will be their God, and they will be my people.  No longer will any of them teach his fellow community member or his brother, 'Know Adonai'; for all will know me, from the least of them to the greatest; because I will forgive their wickednesses and remember their sins no more."[8]


The Gospel looks forward to “…that day when Israel will be restored to the glory which God planned for her from the beginning, and when the nations find their place alongside her to be blessed through her and through her king, Yeshua…”[9] We have to understand the Gospel as it was written, for the Jewish people, for the nation Israel and for the strangers who come to join themselves to her, through Messiah and the obedience of Torah. This is not saying that anything other than true faith in Messiah is needed for salvation, but obedience is the only way we can show God and Yeshua that we love them. Want proof?

John 14:15If you love me, you will obey3[10]4 my commandments.35 14:16 Then36 I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate37 to be with you forever – 14:17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,38 because it does not see him or know him. But you know him, because he resides39 with you and will be40 in you.[11]
(Joh 14:23-24 CJB)
Yeshua answered him, "If someone loves me, he will keep my word; and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Someone who doesn't love me doesn't keep my words -- and the word you are hearing is not my own but that of the Father who sent me.[12]

Exo 20:2-6
b“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, cout of the house of 1bondage.
3     d“You shall have no other gods before Me.
4     e“You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; 5 fyou shall not bow down to them nor 2serve them. gFor I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, hvisiting 3the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, 6 but ishowing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.      [13]

There are more, but I think you get the picture. And this brings us right back to our main thought – “one dog, one bone”. Scot McKnight in his book the “The King Jesus Gospel” identifies a problem in the evangelical church (of which he is involved in bringing about reformation). Boaz Michaels sums it up as thus:
“…The church has moved from a “gospel culture”—in which the message of Jesus Christ is central—to a “salvation culture” in which the only thing that matters is immortality. The main event in evangelical Christianity is getting eternal life. Nothing outside of that is really emphasized…”[14]

This is the problem with the Western Church’s Gospel; she has allowed herself to be misdirected from the true message, because she has failed to ask the questions who, what, when, where, why and how.

The separation of church and faith came a long time ago, in what I call “17°degrees of separation”. Like a moth that spirals in flight trying to find the source of light it sees, so does the church spiral around the cross. Due to a quirk in the make up of the moth’s compound eye, what it sees is actually 17 degrees off of true – hence the spiral flight, and eventually, destruction, for the moth will find the flame of the candle, but will fly into the flame because of the way it perceives and interprets the message it’s eyes send to its brain. The Christian church “sees” the Cross, but has allowed it’s vision to be distorted, to “see” but not “see”. It can see the Gospel, but it is only an image of what is true, and it centers itself on the incomplete picture, not the true perspective.

Most of the Western and for that matter, the Eastern world as well sees Israel in a false image – the Jews are the problem, not the center and the solution as God’s word says they are. The restoration of all things comes in the return of Messiah – to His home Israel and His throne Jerusalem. For most believers today, the idea of salvation is the end game, not the beginning, thus “one dog, one bone.”

What does the Jew believe?

·         Tikkun olam (pronounced tee-KOON oh-LUHM)  or “repair the world”
·         G'milut Hasadim (pronounced geh-mee-LOOT chah-sah-DEEM) refers to performing acts of loving kindness
·         Tzedakah (pronounced tseh-DUH-kuh) is righteous behavior; justice; and fairness

Now these are not principles only found in those that follow Judaism, that isn’t what I’m trying to say. To those of us in the Hebraic Roots movement, we see these virtues in people of faith everywhere.  Christians, Jews, non-Christians; there are good people no matter what the differences in religion are. What I’m trying to say is this; we are all responsible for the well being of the world. Every man or woman can by their actions, affect the outcome of a home, a city, a nation, the world. Look at this example:
God was about to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah, yet Abraham argued with Him..
Gen 18:20 And the Lord said, “Because wthe outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their xsin is very grave, 21 yI will go down now and see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry against it that has come to Me; and if not, zI will know.”
22 Then the men turned away from there aand went toward Sodom, but Abraham still stood before the Lord. 23 And Abraham bcame near and said, c“Would You also ddestroy the erighteous with the wicked? 24 Suppose there were fifty righteous within the city; would You also destroy the place and not spare it for the fifty righteous that were in it? 25 Far be it from You to do such a thing as this, to slay the righteous with the wicked, so fthat the righteous should be as the wicked; far be it from You! gShall not the Judge of all the earth do right?”
26 So the Lord said, h“If I find in Sodom fifty righteous within the city, then I will spare all the place for their sakes.” 27 Then Abraham answered and said, “Indeed now, I who am ibut dust and ashes have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: 28 Suppose there were five less than the fifty righteous; would You destroy all of the city for lack of five?” So He said, “If I find there forty-five, I will not destroy it.
29 And he spoke to Him yet again and said, “Suppose there should be forty found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it for the sake of forty.”
30 Then he said, “Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak: Suppose thirty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
31 And he said, “Indeed now, I have taken it upon myself to speak to the Lord: Suppose twenty should be found there?”
So He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of twenty.”
32 Then he said, j“Let not the Lord be angry, and I will speak but once more: Suppose ten should be found there?” kAnd He said, “I will not destroy it for the sake of ten.” 33 So the Lord went His way as soon as He had finished speaking with Abraham; and Abraham returned to his place. [15]

The life of the righteous is precious to God, so precious he would spare the wicked for the sake of the one. By the sacrifice of the One, so were we spared. By the resurrection of the One, we have the chance to live, to learn and to follow and obey as He wills. By our acts, others may be saved; we cannot do this with a selfish, “me first” attitude.

Are we prepared to give our all for the sake of others? Isn’t this what it is all about anyway, that we esteem another more than ourselves? Can you or I for that matter, put aside that which we want so someone else may have? These are the questions that demand answers, for they are the source of whether our faith is true or not. If our faith is true, we will walk humble and be ready to lay all we are, all we have or will ever be down for the sake of another. If our faith is weak, or not true, then we will be as the world… “I got mine, you get yours”. 

Which do you want to be?

Father, that I may be counted worthy enough to lay it all down for the sake of another; may I be courageous enough to do so, and humble enough to know that it is the right thing to do. May my tzedakah, a righteous life hidden in you, be pleasing to You, and may you always guide me in that which you wish me to accomplish for Your Kingdom’s sake… In Yeshua’s name this I ask,
Amein



[1] The Complete Jewish bible, translated by David H. Stern ©1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc, Clarksville Maryland
[2]..ibid..
[3] ..ibid..
[4] From the Monthly eRosh, http://ffoz.org/resources/erosh/kislev/the_miracles_of_kislev.php, FFOZ.org, Copyright ©First Fruits of Zion, Inc., all rights reserved
[5] The Complete Jewish bible, translated by David H. Stern ©1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc, Clarksville Maryland
[6] ..ibid..
[7] Webster’s Dictionary, 1828 Edition, (electronic edition) e-Sword®, v. 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Myers
[8] The Complete Jewish bible, translated by David H. Stern ©1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc, Clarksville Maryland; electronic edition, e-Sword®, v. 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Myers
[9] From the Founder’s Blog by Boaz Michael; http://ffoz.org/blogs/2012/12/why_yeshuas_coming_left_me_wan.html Copyright ©First Fruits of Zion, Inc., all rights reserved
[10]  Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press.
The following are NET notes: NET Bible® Notes - copyright ©1996-2007 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C.
  34 tn Or “will keep.”
 35 sn Jesus’ statement If you love me, you will obey my commandments provides the transition between the promises of answered prayer which Jesus makes to his disciples in vv. 13–14 and the promise of the Holy Spirit which is introduced in v. 16. Obedience is the proof of genuine love.
 36 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “Then” to reflect the implied sequence in the discourse.
 37 tn Or “Helper” or “Counselor”; Grk “Paraclete,” from the Greek word παράκλητος (paraklētos). Finding an appropriate English translation for παράκλητος is a very difficult task. No single English word has exactly the same range of meaning as the Greek word. “Comforter,” used by some of the older English versions, appears to be as old as Wycliffe. But today it suggests a quilt or a sympathetic mourner at a funeral. “Counselor” is adequate, but too broad, in contexts like “marriage counselor” or “camp counselor.” “Helper” or “Assistant” could also be used, but could suggest a subordinate rank. “Advocate,” the word chosen for this translation, has more forensic overtones than the Greek word does, although in John 16:5–11 a forensic context is certainly present. Because an “advocate” is someone who “advocates” or supports a position or viewpoint and since this is what the Paraclete will do for the preaching of the disciples, it was selected in spite of the drawbacks.
38 tn Or “cannot receive.”
39 tn Or “he remains.”
40 tc Some early and important witnesses (P66* B D* W 1 565 it) have ἐστιν (estin, “he is”) instead of ἔσται (estai, “he will be”) here, while other weighty witnesses ({P66c, 75vid א A D1 L Θ Ψ f13 33vid M as well as several versions and fathers}), read the future tense. When one considers transcriptional evidence, ἐστιν is the more difficult reading and better explains the rise of the future tense reading, but it must be noted that both P66 and D were corrected from the present tense to the future. If ἐστιν were the original reading, one would expect a few manuscripts to be corrected to read the present when they originally read the future, but that is not the case. When one considers what the author would have written, the future is on much stronger ground. The immediate context (both in 14:16 and in the chapter as a whole) points to the future, and the theology of the book regards the advent of the Spirit as a decidedly future event (see, e.g., 7:39 and 16:7). The present tense could have arisen from an error of sight on the part of some scribes or more likely from an error of thought as scribes reflected upon the present role of the Spirit. Although a decision is difficult, the future tense is most likely authentic. For further discussion on this textual problem, see James M. Hamilton, Jr., “He Is with You and He Will Be in You” (Ph.D. diss., The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2003), 213–20.

[12] The Complete Jewish bible, translated by David H. Stern ©1998 by David H. Stern, Jewish New Testament Publications, Inc, Clarksville Maryland; electronic edition, e-Sword®, v. 10.1.0 Copyright ©2000-2012 by Rick Myers
b  Hos. 13:4
c  Ex. 13:3; Deut. 7:8
1  slaves
d  Deut. 6:14; 2 Kin. 17:35; Jer. 25:6; 35:15
e  Lev. 19:4; 26:1; Deut. 4:15–19; 27:15
f  Is. 44:15, 19
2  worship
g  Ex. 34:14; Deut. 4:24; Josh. 24:19; Nah. 1:2
h  Num. 14:18, 33; Deut. 5:9, 10; 1 Kin. 21:29; Ps. 79:8; Jer. 32:18
3  punishing
i  Deut. 7:9; Rom. 11:28
[13]  The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
[14] From the Founder’s Blog by Boaz Michael; http://ffoz.org/blogs/2012/12/why_yeshuas_coming_left_me_wan.html Copyright ©First Fruits of Zion, Inc., all rights reserved
w  Gen. 4:10; 19:13; Ezek. 16:49, 50
x  Gen. 13:13
y  Gen. 11:5; Ex. 3:8; Ps. 14:2
z  Deut. 8:2; 13:3; Josh. 22:22; Luke 16:15; 2 Cor. 11:11
a  Gen. 18:16; 19:1
b  [Heb. 10:22]
c  Ex. 23:7; Num. 16:22; 2 Sam. 24:17; Ps. 11:4–7
d  Job 9:22
e  Gen. 20:4
f  Job 8:20; Is. 3:10, 11
g  Deut. 1:16, 17; 32:4; Job 8:3, 20; 34:17; Ps. 58:11; 94:2; Is. 3:10, 11; Rom. 3:5, 6
h  Jer. 5:1; Ezek. 22:30
i  [Gen. 3:19]; Job 4:19; 30:19; 42:6; [1 Cor. 15:47, 48]
j  Judg. 6:39
k  James 5:16
[15]  Genesis 18:20-33; The New King James Version. 1982. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.


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