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Joshua 24:1-33

Every year that I have gone on this journey, I am always amazed at the things that stand out to me. Although I have gone on a read-thorough-the-Bible-journey over thirty times, I am amazed at the things that I constantly uncover. Things that were there all the time, things that on my first journey I either chose not to see or could not see things that I have read before but now am just discovering. God’s Word is ever pregnant birthing new thoughts and new perspectives.

Joshua said to all the people, Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, Your fathers dwelt in olden times beyond the Euphrates River, including Terah the father of Abraham and Nahor, and they served other gods. And I took your father Abraham from beyond the Euphrates River and led him through all the land of Canaan and multiplied his offspring. I gave him Isaac, (Joshua 24:2-3 AMP).

In the midst of my depravity, God called me out from those who worshiped gods that were not God, just like He did Abraham. Called out from the midst of depraved influences, God incubated Abraham in the comfort of His womb. The womb He had provided, Cannon, to give birth to His people, His Word by way of the Law, His Words through the Prophets, and finally, His Word, Jesus Christ. Then, as stated in the fourth verse of this chapter, they were sent down to Egypt, “And I gave to Isaac Jacob and Esau. And I gave to Esau the hill country of Seir to possess, but Jacob and his children went down to Egypt.” (Joshua 24:4 AMP)

For some strange reason I have gotten stuck with and am drawn to the history of mathematics. I am currently reading a book called, Mathematics for the Million: How to Master the Magic of Numbers by Lancelot Hogben. This is my second book on numbers having read Isaac Asimov’s humorous book, The Realm of Numbers. I’m not sure the purpose of my sudden fascination with books like this, but I have learned that besides working through problems that presented themselves in the ancient world, the learned priests elevated the art of numbers, specifically Geometry to a priestly endeavor. All the work of the Babylonians and the Egyptians laid the foundation for every current young scholar’s (grades 1 through 12, and up) nightmare or dream in the handling of numbers; they also laid down the groundwork for the building of Temples, pyramids, etc.

Abraham and his descendents, having no use for numbers, other than counting his sheep, cattle and other such stuff, was a nomad. But down in Egypt where geometry (geo – earth; metry – measuring—where we get the word meter) would be used to calculate the “plumb” line needed to create and measure “right” angles to successfully build its temples, Israel would get math lessons needed to build up the country God had Promised her, in Egypt. I may be called far from my Promise to learn something, you may be called into situations that may become “slavery” for God’s purpose to build His Kingdom upon the earth.

And He made from one [common origin, one source, one blood] all nations of men to settle on the face of the earth, having definitely determined [their] allotted periods of time and the fixed boundaries of their habitation (their settlements, lands, and abodes), So that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after Him and find Him, although He is not far from each one of us.
(Acts 17:26-27 AMP)

With reference to the brevity of life, and that 100 years from now there will be a whole bunch of brand new people does sure put life in perspective.

Not sure who said it, but it bears repeating, "Only one life it will soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last."

I completely and heartily agree with this statement:

"And if we ourselves are not walking with other believers in the body of Christ by investing in a church on a weekly basis, then...we are at risk of getting swept up in the pop-cultural cares of this fleeting world. Church is wise."

Of course, we are the church, the Body of Christ. The church is not perfect in behavior. But, thank God, that we are what we are by the GRACE of God!

Those who are truly the church seek to live the way that the Father through Joshua calls us to live: in regular, ongoing surrender

Joshua 24 (NKJV)
13
I have given you a land for which you did not labor, and cities which you did not build, and you dwell in them; you eat of the vineyards and olive groves which you did not plant.’
14
“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! 15
And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

NOTE:
I note verse 13: "I have given you a land for which you did not labor..."

This reminds me of another inheritance, which the Father sovereignly made to include another verse 13:

Colossians 1 (NKJV)
12
giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.
13
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,
14
in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

OH... that I would always see the inheritance I ALREADY HAVE IN CHRIST. How could one possibly turn from Christ and not surrender to the Lord Jesus once they see the true wealth of spiritual riches that Jesus paid for and bestowed on those who trust Him?

I Corinthians 2 (Amplified)
12
Now we have not received the spirit [that belongs to] the world, but the [Holy] Spirit Who is from God, [given to us] that we might realize and comprehend and appreciate the gifts [of divine favor and blessing so freely and lavishly] bestowed on us by God.

~~~

Joshua 24 (NKJV)
32
The bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel had brought up out of Egypt, they buried at Shechem...

NOTE:
There is a historical reality in confirming God's covenant.

The so called "Gospel of Judas" got me thinking about the importance of the
of the dual reality of the Lord Jesus: the historical reality and the spiritual reality.

I found an interesting news article on this Christian news website: www.agapepress.org/

The name of the article is, "The Gospel of Judas: A Betrayal of the Truth" Below is a small quote from the article.

"The Gospel of Judas tells an entirely different story than the one recorded in the canonical gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. In this writing, Judas is the hero and not the betrayer of Christ. Instead, he is depicted as Christ's best friend -- the only one who really understands Jesus -- the one who turns Jesus over to the authorities for crucifixion at His behest -- helping Him shed his fleshly body and return to the spirit world."

"The teachings of The Gospel of Judas are Gnostic in origin. The Gnostics were a sect that believed only a select group of people was privy to a secret knowledge. THE MATERIAL WORLD TO THEM WAS A TRAP -- SOMETHING FROM WHICH TO ESCAPE TO ENTER INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD."

"As Hanson notes, the teachings of the 'Cainite Gnostics,' the group responsible for the Gospel of Judas, were characteristic for 'rehabilitating disgraced biblical figures, including Cain, the Sodomites, and Judas.'"

"Although Gnostics appeared to be Christian, there is nothing about their teachings that resembled what the apostles actually taught and passed down to the Church."

Note this key quote from the article: "THE MATERIAL WORLD TO [the Gnostics] WAS A TRAP -- SOMETHING FROM WHICH TO ESCAPE TO ENTER INTO THE SPIRIT WORLD."

Since they saw physical matter as evil, in their view Jesus could not possibly have been divine and also wanted a human body.

Yet, God's covenant has always had a historical reality. The physical bones of Joseph and the physical and historical grave site of those bones was a place where people could go and see evidence that could not be denied that God keeps His promises.

Consider how important the physical body of the Lord Jesus is to the NT.

In particular, note that the books of Colossians and I John were written specifically against the error and heresy of gnosticism.

Colossians 1 (NKJV)
21
AND YOU, who once were alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet NOW HE HAS RECONCILED
22
IN THE BODY OF HIS FLESH THROUGH DEATH, to present you holy, and blameless, and above reproach in His sight—

I John 4 (NKJV)
2
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come IN THE FLESH is of God,
3
and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come IN THE FLESH is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

~~~
Also consider this from Hebrews:

Hebrews 10 (NKJV)
19
Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20
by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, THROUGH THE VEIL, THAT IS, HIS FLESH,...

22
let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,...
23
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful. 24
And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works

FINAL NOTE:
If Jesus were not truly human, then He could not be our equal substitute or equal representative. Jesus had to be human because we are humans. Humans (Adam and Eve) allowed themselves to be
deceived through temptation, and only a human could later overcome the enemy by defeating temptation on behalf of humanity.

JESUS IS FULLY GOD AND FULLY MAN. Anything less is less than what man needs and less that what God requires.

Also, Jesus was not simply a real human who was temporarily "endued" with the "divine" or the "Spirit" which then later left him.

No...
Jesus and the Father are one. He was crucified precisely because He claimed to be God.

Hi Mike,just wanted to let you know that I've nominated you for the thinking blogger award.

[late post from yesterday]

Luke 20

The Resurrection and Marriage

The gift of marriage was established by God for men and women in this age in order for us to understand through our physical, emotional, and spiritual oneness his loyal love and oneness with us. Marriage in this fallen age was also designed by God for couples to bring forth children in order to preserve the human race. This will continue as long as this age lasts-until Jesus brings all his enemies under his foot, the final enemy being death itself. We won't need to have children anymore when death is conquered. - Ron Ritchie

Sadducees were trying to trip Jesus up again by giving a hypothesis that makes resurrection impossible. The prevailing thought of the time for those who did believe in bodily resurrection was - we would pick up in our relationships, material appetites and way of life. Jesus is saying - if you believe that - you misunderstand the Word of God.

There is a "this age" and a "that age" - and in that age only those considered God's children are worthy to be a part of "that age". The Greek is actually "accounted worthy" - because none of us are worthy. So how do we become accounted worthy or have the right to claim to be children of God?

John 1:12
"Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—" NIV

So their will be no need for marriage and children in that age, no fear of death, and our relationship with God will be as His children.

"that age" is the resurrection of life for the righteous. The hypothetical question is invalid because the posers of the riddle do not understand what the resurrected life will be like according to God's Word.
======================================================
Whose Son Is the Christ?

Lest the Pharisees be left out - Jesus addresses the idea that the Messiah would be simply a man who would assume the earthly throne of David.

How can this be so when David calls Him Lord?

Yes, the Messiah will be man descended from David's line, but He is also God - as David calls Him Lord. Jesus is both God and Man.

[Psalm 110:1 is always a good question to ask an unbelieving Jew regarding the messiah and their beliefs.]
======================================================
Lastly Jesus provides a Warning.

Jesus does not say pay no heed to the teachers and priests. He says - "beware". Put what they teach against scripture - heed what is God's Word, but as you see in the instances of the resurrection and the Messiah given here - the teachers have it wrong.

Their problem - they love the status, attention, and wealth associated with their position more than they love and understand God's Word.

Are there Christian ministers like that today? Sadly, Yes. Beware of them and "test" their teachings against God's Word.

joshua 24

We have come full circle. Shechem was the place where Jacob challenged his followers regarding foreign gods. Joshua is making his speech at the same place. Possibly the stone was set up near the place Jacob buried the forign gods.

Gen 35:2-4
"So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, "Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes. Then come, let us go up to Bethel, where I will build an altar to God, who answered me in the day of my distress and who has been with me wherever I have gone." So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods they had and the rings in their ears, and Jacob buried them under the oak at Shechem." NIV
======================================================
I missed this last year

Josh24:19,23
"Joshua said to the people, "You are not able to serve the LORD. He is a holy God; he is a jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins......"Now then," said Joshua, "throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel." NIV

After all this - there were some who still caried around idol's of other gods and worshipped them. They were straddling the fence - having it both ways - you cannot worship other gods and be in favor with the Lord. You cannot serve the Lord in this state.

Implications:
Do people straddle the fence today. Going to worship on Sundays, and then worshipping the world the rest of the week (work, immorality, video games, etc.) ????

Two possibilities:
1) A professing Christian did receive and believe in Christ, but in the battle of the flesh and spirit has tried to go it on his own instead of relying on God. You lose every time - you cannot serve the Lord in this way. Your testimony and witness mean nothing.

2) A professing Christian who is in this state never truly received Christ and trusted Him with their life. They go to Sunday worship because it is what they always have done with family, for social reasons, or because they think it is all that is necessary to please God.

The answer here is the same as Joshua said - throw away your foreign idols and yield your heart to the Lord. This means turning back to the Lord, repenting of your sinful state, and giving your heart to the Lord. Today that means Believing and Receiving Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.
======================================================
The VT shootings, Hurricane Katrina, and the Asian Tsunami are no different than the question asked Jesus about the building in Galilee falling and killing people in NT. The answer is the same.

In an imperfect world evil exists, tragedies happen, and the emphasis should not be on figuring it all out.

The point is what Jesus said - We do not control things, we are mortal - it should be a sign to look to God and repent.

Christians who are wandering (straddling the fence) need to come back to the Lord and serve Him. Non-Christians. It is a moment in time to look to God for the eternal solution. There is only one answer and one way.

Even Christians who are dedicated believers should see these as signs to rededicate our lives to Christ and share the Gospel. We don't know how long we will be here on earth, and neither do we know the lifespan of those we talk to about Christ. Our sense of urgency should be renewed.


The Essential Message of Joshua

Practically, that message is that God keeps his promises and enables his servants to succeed if we will trust him and obey his word. God has a rich inheritance for his children here and now if they will claim it by faith.-Doug Goins
======================================================
Things about Joshua from this Book.

I. How was he prepared?
- He suffered (in Egypt)

- He submitted to authority. (During the first half of his life he obeyed Moses, and during the second half he learned to listen directly to the Lord.)

- Joshua experianced delay (Hebrews 6:12 tells us that it is through faith and patience that we inherit what God has promised.)

II. What are some of the hallmarks of Joshua's leadership?
-First, he walked with God, as Moses, his mentor, did.

- He had courage.

- He followed God's plans. Not perfectly, but when Joshua did not (Ai, Gibeonites) he acknowledged his mistake and returned to the Lord's Way.

- Joshua enlisted others, and they trusted his spiritual authority.

- Joshua was concerned about the future.

- Joshua glorified God. Throughout the book of Joshua he repeatedly gave God the glory for everything that happened. It was the Lord who conquered the enemy, the Lord who gave the land to the people, the name of the Lord that was to be magnified in all the earth.
======================================================
How is God revealed in this Book?

- He is a relational God.
- He is a God who keeps his promises.
- He is a holy God who will not tolerate sin.
- He is a forgiving God who cleanses us when we confess our sins.
- He is a God who requires obedience.
- He is a God who never fails. We may fail him, but he will never fail us.
- Most importantly, He is a God of grace and mercy.

Most of this was liberally lifted from the link below. If you want to see the bullet points above elaborated on - go here:
http://www.pbc.org/library/files/html/4475a.html

Luke 21

The Widow's Offering

Can you see the picture of salvation in the widow's offering.

Someone who has no resources, no one else (husband) to depend on - who is at her lowest state - gave from her core, her life.

The others - it was an offering from their surplus - it did not touch their core. Who does Christ recognize??? How did you come to Christ with your offering - your heart - your recognition of God's plan?????
======================================================
Prophecy

As Ramona said last year - nothing brings up more petty and useless arguments in Christianity than disagreements on Prophecy. Let's see if we can stick to what we (hopefully) can agree on:

Before anything else there will be persecution. It was true then, and true now. We see it begin with Stephen in Acts, and I keep coming up with the same numbers that indicate more christians were killed in the 2oth century than the previous 19 combined.

There will be wars, and natural disasters - why must they happen? They are necessary for God to give a chance to those who have not turned back to Him. As stated before - to point to our inability to control events (man-made or natural), to recognize mortality, and to give us a chance to repent to the Lord. God is patient and far more more merciful to this world than to all the "ites" of Canaan. He waited some 400 years to destroy them, and we are going on 2,000+ waiting for Jesus to return.

There were false Messiahs back then, and now. Most recent one I heard of is the guy in Miami, Fl (Miranda). You know why we are to ignore them - because when Christ returns in His glory - WE will be with Him.

1 Th 3:13 To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.

Jude 1:14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands* of his saints,

*ten thousands - Gk. murias - idiom meaning innumerable, too many to count.
======================================================
A common acceptance about prophecy is that it contains near term and far term fulfillments. that seems to be the case here at vs. 20 to the end of our readings.

Titus, Roman commander, laid siege to Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and leveled Jerusalem - including the temple.

" In the siege in 70 A.D. some 1,100,000 men, women, and children died of starvation or by the sword of Rome. Some 97,000 others were taken into slavery. All this happened because when the Jews heard that the Roman army was coming to bring judgment on their rebellion, they came into the city from the hills and villages of Judea, hoping that the city walls would save them from destruction. But the followers of Jesus who heeded his warning were able to flee the city in time to save their lives." - Ron Ritchie

Verses 25 and on are yet unfulfilled. Nothing as cataclismic as Christ mentions has happened - and of course He has not come back. But HE WILL! For the Jews still alive at this time - who call on the name of the Lord - their redemption will be at hand.

LUKE
Oh make us more faithful so we cab like the widow.

I enjoyed reading the link

PSALMS
I love with everything I have and I love my family. I dont think im living my life as exactly as God would like me too. Are any of us?

PROVERBS
This year i have found myself blogging with many Christains. Im learning a lot. I also go to church on a weekly basis.

Joshua 24:19-20 "Then Joshua warned the people, “You are not able to serve the Lord, for he is a holy and jealous God. He will not forgive your rebellion and your sins. If you abandon the Lord and serve other gods, he will turn against you and destroy you, even though he has been so good to you.” ~ You know what I notice lately? People that create their own God. They come to church once a week, hear the sermon, remember the things that come good to them and forget what they don't agree on. We have them here in the biblestudy. I observe them and see how they try to turn bad things into good. You know what I'm trying to say? They lie in specific situations and look for excuses to turn it into something good. ... Sigh ... am I explaining this correctly? I don't think there's any excuse to lie! If you're lying you're abandoning God. You might not serving another God perse, but you're defenitly NOT serving our Lord, the Father!


Are you walking with the wise? Do you want to walk with the wise? ~ Oh yes! I'm walking with the wise! I love to learn from people! I love to listen to them and to all the wisdom they have! I thank the Lord for putting so many (much?) wise people in my life! I've met the greatest and wisest people since I've accepted Jesus. I love to talk to them and I love to listen to their testimony's!

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