Spiritual Training

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March 14 - Morning

“The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, 'I brought you up out of Egypt and led you into the land I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall not make a covenant with the people of this land, but you shall break down their altars.’ Yet you have disobeyed me. Why have you done this?'
...After that whole generation had been gathered to their ancestors, another generation grew up who knew neither the Lord nor what he had done for Israel.”
- Judges 2:1-2, 10

Emotional Reactions and the Vacuum of an Empty Soul

The tribes of Israel did not continue to eliminate the Canaanites as the Lord had commanded, but instead made treaties with them. This behavior was a violation of the Covenant that Israel had with the Lord. The presence of the Lord came up out of the tabernacle that was, at this time, still set up in Gilgal and manifested to the people at a place called Bokim. This presence of the Angel of the Lord is called a theophany, or an appearance of the God himself. In the understanding of Trinitarian Christianity this is the manifestation of the Second Member of the Trinity, the Son of God himself. The Hebrew phrase for “Angel of the Lord” is mal’ak YHWH. The Hebrew word mal’ak does not refer to a “Precious-Moments-feathery-winged-creature-with-a-halo” as the English word “angel” so often implies, but mal’ak means “messenger” and “envoy” and refers to a diplomatic representative who speaks and acts on behalf of the party who sent them. This is the Son of God speaking to his covenant people, and He is not happy!
The Lord is very upset because his covenant with Israel had been set aside unlawfully by Israel in order that they might secure a lesser covenant with the Canaanites, the enemies of the Lord. Israel had not destroyed the wicked Canaanites and they had not torn down their altars to the false, demonic gods. Instead, Israel had joined with the cursed people and corrupted their worship of the Lord with idolatry.  Because the people did not keep their end of the Covenant and had instead betrayed the Lord by siding with his enemies the Lord would no longer use Israel to drive the Canaanites out of the land. Indeed, the Lord could not use Israel any longer since they themselves had become like the Canaanites.
At Bokim the Angel of the Lord reminds the people that he is simply doing what he said he would do. All of the actions of the Lord, both the blessings and the curses, are detailed in the covenant they made with him at Sinai and confirmed at Shechem. They should not be surprised; the Lord is simply following the contract.
Though the people respond to this bitter news with emotional weeping and quick, reactionary recommencing of the sacrifices their true intentions have been set. Their hearts have been revealed by the covenants they were making with the Canaanites. Their emotional outburst and reactionary response is just that: an emotional reaction. There is no substance or genuine quality of repentance contained in their response.
The emptiness of an emotional reaction is proven by the fact that by the time the generation that had entered the Promised Land had died the culture had completely forgotten the Lord. The next generation was unfamiliar with the Exodus, the forty years in the wilderness and the conquest of the Promised Land. Surely, there must have been the remains of some traditions, liturgies and holidays in the Israelite culture that echoed the ghostly memory of the days of Moses and Joshua, but the priests had failed to teach (Lev. 10:9-11), the parents had failed to share the true meaning of the stories (Dt. 4:9; 6:7; 11:19) and the leaders had failed to honor the covenant. This lack of knowledge and void of understanding left a vacuum in the soul of the nation of Israel that sucked in the false realities, demonic gods and corrupt practices of the Canaanites, the enemies of the Lord, to replace the glory of the Lord, the God Almighty.
A soul that is unoccupied with truth will fill itself with false realties to satisfy the void.
‘Or (Hb) – Light (Eng) – ‘or is the Hebrew word that means “to become light,” “lighted from day break,” “give light,” “cause light to shine.” ‘Or is used in Genesis 44:3 and Numbers 8:2. But, in Isaiah 5:20 and 5:30 ‘or refers to darkness, the opposite of light.
Do I respond to the Lord with emotional reactions, or can I respond with understanding that manifests in my life as commitment and obedience?
I will fill my soul with Truth and understanding so I can respond to life with wisdom and action instead of reacting with mere emotional outbursts.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text


For favor with people



Right in the middle of the Rotunda in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is the Holy Sepulcher, the Tomb of Jesus.  The original rock that surrounded the tomb was removed by Constantine beginning in 326 so that only a large square rock block was left surrounding the tomb. In 1009 the Muslim Caliph from Egypt, al-Hakim, completely destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and crushed the stone block around the tomb that was left by Constantine. The only portion of the tomb that was spared was the burial bench because it was covered in the rubble. Today the burial bench exists but is covered with a marble slab to preserve what is left from visiting Christians who chipped away at it in order to get a piece of the tomb. (Details)
In 1 Kings 12:1-19 the northern ten tribes of Israel rebelled against Solomon's son, Rehoboam, when he became king. This map gives some details.
1 Kings 12:1-19
New International Version (NIV)
Israel Rebels Against Rehoboam
12 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was still in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and the whole assembly of Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”
Rehoboam answered, “Go away for three days and then come back to me.” So the people went away.
Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.
They replied, “If today you will be a servant to these people and serve them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”
But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”
10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “These people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”
12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered the people harshly. Rejecting the advice given him by the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.” 15 So the king did not listen to the people, for this turn of events was from the Lord, to fulfill the word the Lord had spoken to Jeroboam son of Nebat through Ahijah the Shilonite.
16 When all Israel saw that the king refused to listen to them, they answered the king:
“What share do we have in David,     what part in Jesse’s son? To your tents, Israel!     Look after your own house, David!”
So the Israelites went home. 17 But as for the Israelites who were living in the towns of Judah, Rehoboam still ruled over them.
18 King Rehoboam sent out Adoniram, who was in charge of forced labor, but all Israel stoned him to death. King Rehoboam, however, managed to get into his chariot and escape to Jerusalem. 19 So Israel has been in rebellion against the house of David to this day.

Someone to Quote

“It is mainly the deeds of a love so noble that lead many to label us. 'See,' they say, 'How they love one another!' For themselves are animated by mutual hatred. 'How they are ready even to die for one another!' For they themselves will sooner put to death. ... the family possessions, which generally destroy brotherhood among you, create fraternal bonds among us. One in mind and soul, we do not hesitate to share our earthly goods with one another.” – Tertullian, 200 AD

Something to Ponder

Between 1910-1915 The Fundamentals are published and distributed free of charge by the president of the Union Oil Company, Lyman Stewart, who was concerned about the rising tide of liberal thinking and teaching of the American churches.

• Lyman put together $300,000 to publish booklets that covered:
basic Christian doctrine,
evil of socialism,
evil of evolution and the
danger of materialism

• Some of the editing was done by R. A. Torrey.

• 3,000,000 copies were printed and distributed for free between 1910 and 1915.

• These booklets were published in a set of books called The Fundamentals and distributed at no charge to pastors, evangelists, missionaries, theological students, Sunday school superintendents, YMCA and YWCA secretaries.

The Fundamentals educated and united believers with a core conservative view of Scriptures that resisted the modern wave of liberal Christian theology and began the Fundamentalist movement.

Here’s a Fact

The Apostle Paul’s teacher of Judaism was Gamaliel according to Luke’s record in Acts 22:3. Gamaliel is well known in Judaism and one of the greatest teachers in Jewish thought. He was one of the first seven Jewish rabbis to receive the honored title Rabban, “Our Rabbi.” Gamaliel’s grandfather was Hillel, the founder of one of the main schools of thought among Pharisees. Gamaliel’s and Hillel’s teachings and lives are well documented and preserved from the ancient world.


"An honest witness does not deceive, but a false witness pours out lies."
- Proverbs 14:5

Coach’s Corner

Are you living your life in the bleachers or in the sand of the coliseum?

Acts 22:3
New International Version (NIV)
“I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.
Leviticus 10:9-11
New International Version (NIV)
“You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”
Deuteronomy 4:9
New International Version (NIV)
Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them.
Deuteronomy 6:7
New International Version (NIV)
Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Deuteronomy 11:19
New International Version (NIV)
19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.
Genesis 44:3
New International Version (NIV)
As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their donkeys.
Numbers 8:2
New International Version (NIV)
“Speak to Aaron and say to him, ‘When you set up the lamps, see that all seven light up the area in front of the lampstand.’”
Isaiah 5:20
New International Version (NIV)
Woe to those who call evil good     and good evil, who put darkness for light     and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet     and sweet for bitter.
Isaiah 5:30
New International Version (NIV)
In that day they will roar over it     like the roaring of the sea. And if one looks at the land,     there is only darkness and distress;     even the sun will be darkened by clouds.
Leviticus 10
New International Version (NIV)
The Death of Nadab and Abihu
10 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:
“‘Among those who approach me     I will be proved holy; in the sight of all the people     I will be honored.’”
Aaron remained silent.
Moses summoned Mishael and Elzaphan, sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel, and said to them, “Come here; carry your cousins outside the camp, away from the front of the sanctuary.” So they came and carried them, still in their tunics, outside the camp, as Moses ordered.
Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not let your hair become unkempt and do not tear your clothes, or you will die and the Lord will be angry with the whole community. But your relatives, all the Israelites, may mourn for those the Lord has destroyed by fire. Do not leave the entrance to the tent of meeting or you will die, because the Lord’s anointing oil is on you.” So they did as Moses said.
Then the Lord said to Aaron, “You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the tent of meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, 10 so that you can distinguish between the holy and the common, between the unclean and the clean, 11 and so you can teach the Israelites all the decrees the Lord has given them through Moses.”
12 Moses said to Aaron and his remaining sons, Eleazar and Ithamar, “Take the grain offering left over from the food offerings prepared without yeast and presented to the Lord and eat it beside the altar, for it is most holy. 13 Eat it in the sanctuary area, because it is your share and your sons’ share of the food offerings presented to the Lord; for so I have been commanded. 14 But you and your sons and your daughters may eat the breast that was waved and the thigh that was presented. Eat them in a ceremonially clean place; they have been given to you and your children as your share of the Israelites’ fellowship offerings. 15 The thigh that was presented and the breast that was waved must be brought with the fat portions of the food offerings, to be waved before the Lord as a wave offering. This will be the perpetual share for you and your children, as the Lord has commanded.”
16 When Moses inquired about the goat of the sin offering and found that it had been burned up, he was angry with Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s remaining sons, and asked, 17 “Why didn’t you eat the sin offering in the sanctuary area? It is most holy; it was given to you to take away the guilt of the community by making atonement for them before the Lord. 18 Since its blood was not taken into the Holy Place, you should have eaten the goat in the sanctuary area, as I commanded.”
19 Aaron replied to Moses, “Today they sacrificed their sin offering and their burnt offering before the Lord, but such things as this have happened to me. Would the Lord have been pleased if I had eaten the sin offering today?” 20 When Moses heard this, he was satisfied.
Judges 3
New International Version (NIV)
These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.
The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. They took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
The Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord; they forgot the Lord their God and served the Baals and the Asherahs. The anger of the Lord burned against Israel so that he sold them into the hands of Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram Naharaim, to whom the Israelites were subject for eight years. But when they cried out to the Lord, he raised up for them a deliverer, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, who saved them. 10 The Spirit of the Lord came on him, so that he became Israel’s judge and went to war. The Lord gave Cushan-Rishathaim king of Aram into the hands of Othniel, who overpowered him. 11 So the land had peace for forty years, until Othniel son of Kenaz died.
12 Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the Lord, and because they did this evil the Lord gave Eglon king of Moab power over Israel. 13 Getting the Ammonites and Amalekites to join him, Eglon came and attacked Israel, and they took possession of the City of Palms. 14 The Israelites were subject to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.
15 Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. The Israelites sent him with tribute to Eglon king of Moab. 16 Now Ehud had made a double-edged sword about a cubit long, which he strapped to his right thigh under his clothing. 17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab, who was a very fat man. 18 After Ehud had presented the tribute, he sent on their way those who had carried it. 19 But on reaching the stone images near Gilgal he himself went back to Eglon and said, “Your Majesty, I have a secret message for you.”
The king said to his attendants, “Leave us!” And they all left.
20 Ehud then approached him while he was sitting alone in the upper room of his palace and said, “I have a message from God for you.” As the king rose from his seat, 21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king’s belly. 22 Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it. 23 Then Ehud went out to the porch; he shut the doors of the upper room behind him and locked them.
24 After he had gone, the servants came and found the doors of the upper room locked. They said, “He must be relieving himself in the inner room of the palace.” 25 They waited to the point of embarrassment, but when he did not open the doors of the room, they took a key and unlocked them. There they saw their lord fallen to the floor, dead.
26 While they waited, Ehud got away. He passed by the stone images and escaped to Seirah. 27 When he arrived there, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down with him from the hills, with him leading them.
28 “Follow me,” he ordered, “for the Lord has given Moab, your enemy, into your hands.” So they followed him down and took possession of the fords of the Jordan that led to Moab; they allowed no one to cross over. 29 At that time they struck down about ten thousand Moabites, all vigorous and strong; not one escaped. 30 That day Moab was made subject to Israel, and the land had peace for eighty years.
31 After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. He too saved Israel.
Deuteronomy 8-9
New International Version (NIV)
Do Not Forget the Lord
Be careful to follow every command I am giving you today, so that you may live and increase and may enter and possess the land the Lord promised on oath to your ancestors. Remember how the Lord your God led you all the way in the wilderness these forty years, to humble and test you in order to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commands. He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord. Your clothes did not wear out and your feet did not swell during these forty years. Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son, so the Lord your God disciplines you.
Observe the commands of the Lord your God, walking in obedience to him and revering him. For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land—a land with brooks, streams, and deep springs gushing out into the valleys and hills; a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey; a land where bread will not be scarce and you will lack nothing; a land where the rocks are iron and you can dig copper out of the hills.
10 When you have eaten and are satisfied, praise the Lord your God for the good land he has given you. 11 Be careful that you do not forget the Lord your God, failing to observe his commands, his laws and his decrees that I am giving you this day. 12 Otherwise, when you eat and are satisfied, when you build fine houses and settle down, 13 and when your herds and flocks grow large and your silver and gold increase and all you have is multiplied, 14 then your heart will become proud and you will forget the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 He led you through the vast and dreadful wilderness, that thirsty and waterless land, with its venomous snakes and scorpions. He brought you water out of hard rock. 16 He gave you manna to eat in the wilderness, something your ancestors had never known, to humble and test you so that in the end it might go well with you. 17 You may say to yourself, “My power and the strength of my hands have produced this wealth for me.” 18 But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.
19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship and bow down to them, I testify against you today that you will surely be destroyed. 20 Like the nations the Lord destroyed before you, so you will be destroyed for not obeying the Lord your God.
Not Because of Israel’s Righteousness
Hear, Israel: You are now about to cross the Jordan to go in and dispossess nations greater and stronger than you, with large cities that have walls up to the sky. The people are strong and tall—Anakites! You know about them and have heard it said: “Who can stand up against the Anakites?” But be assured today that the Lord your God is the one who goes across ahead of you like a devouring fire. He will destroy them; he will subdue them before you. And you will drive them out and annihilate them quickly, as the Lord has promised you.
After the Lord your God has driven them out before you, do not say to yourself, “The Lord has brought me here to take possession of this land because of my righteousness.” No, it is on account of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is going to drive them out before you. It is not because of your righteousness or your integrity that you are going in to take possession of their land; but on account of the wickedness of these nations, the Lord your God will drive them out before you, to accomplish what he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Understand, then, that it is not because of your righteousness that the Lord your God is giving you this good land to possess, for you are a stiff-necked people.
The Golden Calf
Remember this and never forget how you aroused the anger of the Lord your God in the wilderness. From the day you left Egypt until you arrived here, you have been rebellious against the Lord. At Horeb you aroused the Lord’s wrath so that he was angry enough to destroy you. When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the Lord had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water. 10 The Lord gave me two stone tablets inscribed by the finger of God. On them were all the commandments the Lord proclaimed to you on the mountain out of the fire, on the day of the assembly.
11 At the end of the forty days and forty nights, the Lord gave me the two stone tablets, the tablets of the covenant. 12 Then the Lord told me, “Go down from here at once, because your people whom you brought out of Egypt have become corrupt. They have turned away quickly from what I commanded them and have made an idol for themselves.”
13 And the Lord said to me, “I have seen this people, and they are a stiff-necked people indeed! 14 Let me alone, so that I may destroy them and blot out their name from under heaven. And I will make you into a nation stronger and more numerous than they.”
15 So I turned and went down from the mountain while it was ablaze with fire. And the two tablets of the covenant were in my hands. 16 When I looked, I saw that you had sinned against the Lord your God; you had made for yourselves an idol cast in the shape of a calf. You had turned aside quickly from the way that the Lord had commanded you. 17 So I took the two tablets and threw them out of my hands, breaking them to pieces before your eyes.
18 Then once again I fell prostrate before the Lord for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the Lord’s sight and so arousing his anger. 19 I feared the anger and wrath of the Lord, for he was angry enough with you to destroy you. But again the Lord listened to me. 20 And the Lord was angry enough with Aaron to destroy him, but at that time I prayed for Aaron too. 21 Also I took that sinful thing of yours, the calf you had made, and burned it in the fire. Then I crushed it and ground it to powder as fine as dust and threw the dust into a stream that flowed down the mountain.
22 You also made the Lord angry at Taberah, at Massah and at Kibroth Hattaavah.
23 And when the Lord sent you out from Kadesh Barnea, he said, “Go up and take possession of the land I have given you.” But you rebelled against the command of the Lord your God. You did not trust him or obey him. 24 You have been rebellious against the Lord ever since I have known you.
25 I lay prostrate before the Lord those forty days and forty nights because the Lord had said he would destroy you. 26 I prayed to the Lord and said, “Sovereign Lord, do not destroy your people, your own inheritance that you redeemed by your great power and brought out of Egypt with a mighty hand. 27 Remember your servants Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Overlook the stubbornness of this people, their wickedness and their sin. 28 Otherwise, the country from which you brought us will say, ‘Because the Lord was not able to take them into the land he had promised them, and because he hated them, he brought them out to put them to death in the wilderness.’ 29 But they are your people, your inheritance that you brought out by your great power and your outstretched arm.”

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