Spiritual Training

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August 28 - Evening

"These will be the exits of the city: Beginning on the north side, which is 1 1/2 miles long, the gates of the city will be named after the tribes of Israel. The three gates on the north side will be the gate of Reuben, the gate of Judah and the gate of Levi.

On the east side, which is 1 1/2 miles long, will be three gates: the gate of Joseph, the gate of Benjamin and the gate of Dan.

On the south side, which measures 1 1/2 miles, will be three gates: the gate of Simeon, the gate of Issachar and the gate of Zebulun.

On the west side, which is 1 1/2 miles long, will be three gates: the gate of Gad, the gate of Asher and the gate of Naphtali.

The distance all around will be 6 miles.

And the name of the city from that time on will be:

'The Lord is there.' "

- Ezekiel 48:30-35

The City of the King of Glory

The final six verses of Ezekiel (48:30-35) describe the city which is called Jerusalem in Zechariah 14:8. The Lord will rule as "king over the whole earth" (Zechariah 14:9) from his throne in the temple in this city.

The city will be 1.5 miles long on each of its four sides forming a perfect square with three gates in each of its four sides.

The city will set in a square that is about 1.33 miles square that will encircle the city with 125 yards of pasture land and farmland for the city (Ezekiel 48:17).

The most important piece of information is the name of the city. Besides being known as Jerusalem of old we are told in the final verse of Ezekiel (48:35) that the name of this city will be:

"The Lord is There"

The book of Ezekiel ends with the detailed promises that provide strong hope for the people of Israel and believers of all time. This is our future!

(Below is a photo of an image I drew in my Bible.)

Parapikrasmos (Gr) – provoke (Eng) – the Greek word parapikrasmos means “provoke.” In Hebrews 3:8 and 3:15 parapikrasmos means “provocation.” The word parapikrasmos is built in the Greek language like this:
-pikros means “sharp” and “bitter”
-pikraino means “to make sharp” and “to make bitter”
-para, which means “from”, is used as a prefix to intensify the main word.

Together para-pikrasmos means “to make more bitter” and “to make sharper.” Thus, parapikrasmos is translated provoke. In the following two passages parapikrasmos is translated “provocation” or "rebellion":
- Hebrews 3:8 – “...do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion, on the day of testing in the wilderness."
- Hebrews 3:15 – “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts as in the rebellion.”
Do I blame God during times of testing? 
Do I run from God when I face hardships or difficult times?
Does my attitude isolate me from his power? 
I will trust God for guidance and empowerment during times of testing.  
I will seek God for correction, training and instruction during times of discipline.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Nehemiah 2 (445 BC)


Physical strength


Military and national defense

The location of the shrine where the silver calf god was found on the walls (ramparts, glacis) of the Canaanite/Philistine city of Askelon. The post in about the middle of the photo marks the spot where the calf god image was found. (Ashkelon details. Calf god images 1, 2. Details 1, 2.)
A map with details of Jesus early Judean ministry recorded in John 2-4.
(More teaching.)

Someone to Quote

"One advantage of marriage is that, when you fall out of love with him or he with you, it keeps you together until you fall in again." - Judith Viorst

Something to Ponder

Newlyweds were commanded by God to honeymoon for the entire first year of their marriage, or at least, the text says, "stay at home and bring happiness to the wife he has married." (Deuteronomy 24:5).

Here’s a Fact

Part Three: (The Lachish Letters (or, Lachish Ostraca) are a collection of eighteen Hebrew correspondence written on potsherds from the days of Jeremiah during Nebuchadnezzar’s invasion of the land. The letters were found in the 587 BC destruction level and are clearly records of communication of Judah’s military in its final stand against Babylon written most likely in 589-588 BC.)

King Zedekiah was supported by a pro-Egyptian party that wanted to trust Egypt for help. (Jeremiah 37:5-8; 37;11-12; Ezekiel 17:11-21) The pro-Egyptian officials of Judah renounce Jeremiah, the prophet, before King Zedekiah. In Letter III of the Lachish Letters the writer, Hoshaiah, records that a group of royal dignitaries are on their way to Egypt and have sent someone to his fortification in Lachish for provisions. Hoshaiah mentions “the prophet” in this correspondence.  It is possible, but not absolute, that this could be a reference to Jeremiah while he was in the midst of his ministry in Jerusalem. (Details 1, 2. Photos.)


"A tyrannical ruler lacks judgment, but he who hates ill-gotten gain will enjoy a long life."
- Proverbs 28:16

Coach’s Corner

The greatest miracle is salvation. The godliest spiritual manifestation is the transformed soul.

Nehemiah 2 New International Version (NIV)
Artaxerxes Sends Nehemiah to Jerusalem
In the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was brought for him, I took the wine and gave it to the king. I had not been sad in his presence before, so the king asked me, “Why does your face look so sad when you are not ill? This can be nothing but sadness of heart.”
I was very much afraid,
but I said to the king, “May the king live forever! Why should my face not look sad when the city where my ancestors are buried lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?”
The king said to me, “What is it you want?”
Then I prayed to the God of heaven,
and I answered the king, “If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favor in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it.”
Then the king, with the queen sitting beside him, asked me, “How long will your journey take, and when will you get back?” It pleased the king to send me; so I set a time.
I also said to him, “If it pleases the king, may I have letters to the governors of Trans-Euphrates, so that they will provide me safe-conduct until I arrive in Judah? And may I have a letter to Asaph, keeper of the royal park, so he will give me timber to make beams for the gates of the citadel by the temple and for the city wall and for the residence I will occupy?” And because the gracious hand of my God was on me, the king granted my requests. So I went to the governors of Trans-Euphrates and gave them the king’s letters. The king had also sent army officers and cavalry with me.
10 When Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite official heard about this, they were very much disturbed that someone had come to promote the welfare of the Israelites.
Nehemiah Inspects Jerusalem’s Walls
11 I went to Jerusalem, and after staying there three days 12 I set out during the night with a few others. I had not told anyone what my God had put in my heart to do for Jerusalem. There were no mounts with me except the one I was riding on.
13 By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire. 14 Then I moved on toward the Fountain Gate and the King’s Pool, but there was not enough room for my mount to get through; 15 so I went up the valley by night, examining the wall. Finally, I turned back and reentered through the Valley Gate. 16 The officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, because as yet I had said nothing to the Jews or the priests or nobles or officials or any others who would be doing the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace.” 18 I also told them about the gracious hand of my God on me and what the king had said to me.
They replied, “Let us start rebuilding.” So they began this good work.
19 But when Sanballat the Horonite, Tobiah the Ammonite official and Geshem the Arab heard about it, they mocked and ridiculed us. “What is this you are doing?” they asked. “Are you rebelling against the king?”
20 I answered them by saying, “The God of heaven will give us success. We his servants will start rebuilding, but as for you, you have no share in Jerusalem or any claim or historic right to it.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Ezekiel 7-8New International Version (NIV)
The End Has Come
The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, this is what the Sovereign Lord says to the land of Israel:
“‘The end! The end has come     upon the four corners of the land!

The end is now upon you,     and I will unleash my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct     and repay you for all your detestable practices.

I will not look on you with pity;     I will not spare you. I will surely repay you for your conduct     and for the detestable practices among you.
“‘Then you will know that I am the Lord.’
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Disaster! Unheard-of disaster!     See, it comes!

The end has come!     The end has come! It has roused itself against you.     See, it comes!

Doom has come upon you,     upon you who dwell in the land. The time has come! The day is near!     There is panic, not joy, on the mountains.

I am about to pour out my wrath on you     and spend my anger against you. I will judge you according to your conduct     and repay you for all your detestable practices.

I will not look on you with pity;     I will not spare you. I will repay you for your conduct     and for the detestable practices among you.
“‘Then you will know that it is I the Lord who strikes you.
“‘See, the day!     See, it comes! Doom has burst forth,     the rod has budded,     arrogance has blossomed!
Violence has arisen,     a rod to punish the wicked. None of the people will be left,     none of that crowd— none of their wealth,     nothing of value.
The time has come!     The day has arrived! Let not the buyer rejoice     nor the seller grieve,     for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
The seller will not recover     the property that was sold—     as long as both buyer and seller live. For the vision concerning the whole crowd     will not be reversed. Because of their sins, not one of them     will preserve their life.
“‘They have blown the trumpet,     they have made all things ready, but no one will go into battle,     for my wrath is on the whole crowd.
Outside is the sword;     inside are plague and famine. Those in the country     will die by the sword; those in the city     will be devoured by famine and plague.
The fugitives who escape     will flee to the mountains. Like doves of the valleys,     they will all moan,     each for their own sins.
Every hand will go limp;     every leg will be wet with urine.
They will put on sackcloth     and be clothed with terror. Every face will be covered with shame,     and every head will be shaved.
“‘They will throw their silver into the streets,     and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold     will not be able to deliver them     in the day of the Lord’s wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger     or fill their stomachs,     for it has caused them to stumble into sin.
They took pride in their beautiful jewelry     and used it to make their detestable idols. They made it into vile images;     therefore I will make it a thing unclean for them.
I will give their wealth as plunder to foreigners     and as loot to the wicked of the earth,     who will defile it.
I will turn my face away from the people,     and robbers will desecrate the place I treasure. They will enter it     and will defile it.
“‘Prepare chains!     For the land is full of bloodshed,     and the city is full of violence.
I will bring the most wicked of nations     to take possession of their houses. I will put an end to the pride of the mighty,     and their sanctuaries will be desecrated.
When terror comes,     they will seek peace in vain.
Calamity upon calamity will come,     and rumor upon rumor. They will go searching for a vision from the prophet,     priestly instruction in the law will cease,     the counsel of the elders will come to an end.
The king will mourn,     the prince will be clothed with despair,     and the hands of the people of the land will tremble. I will deal with them according to their conduct,     and by their own standards I will judge them.
“‘Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
Idolatry in the Temple
In the sixth year, in the sixth month on the fifth day, while I was sitting in my house and the elders of Judah were sitting before me, the hand of the Sovereign Lord came on me there. I looked, and I saw a figure like that of a man. From what appeared to be his waist down he was like fire, and from there up his appearance was as bright as glowing metal. He stretched out what looked like a hand and took me by the hair of my head. The Spirit lifted me up between earth and heaven and in visions of God he took me to Jerusalem, to the entrance of the north gate of the inner court, where the idol that provokes to jealousy stood. And there before me was the glory of the God of Israel, as in the vision I had seen in the plain.
Then he said to me, “Son of man, look toward the north.” So I looked, and in the entrance north of the gate of the altar I saw this idol of jealousy.
And he said to me, “Son of man, do you see what they are doing—the utterly detestable things the Israelites are doing here, things that will drive me far from my sanctuary? But you will see things that are even more detestable.”
Then he brought me to the entrance to the court. I looked, and I saw a hole in the wall. He said to me, “Son of man, now dig into the wall.” So I dug into the wall and saw a doorway there.
And he said to me, “Go in and see the wicked and detestable things they are doing here.” 10 So I went in and looked, and I saw portrayed all over the walls all kinds of crawling things and unclean animals and all the idols of Israel. 11 In front of them stood seventy elders of Israel, and Jaazaniah son of Shaphan was standing among them. Each had a censer in his hand, and a fragrant cloud of incense was rising.
12 He said to me, “Son of man, have you seen what the elders of Israel are doing in the darkness, each at the shrine of his own idol? They say, ‘The Lord does not see us; the Lord has forsaken the land.’” 13 Again, he said, “You will see them doing things that are even more detestable.”
14 Then he brought me to the entrance of the north gate of the house of the Lord, and I saw women sitting there, mourning the god Tammuz. 15 He said to me, “Do you see this, son of man? You will see things that are even more detestable than this.”
16 He then brought me into the inner court of the house of the Lord, and there at the entrance to the temple, between the portico and the altar, were about twenty-five men. With their backs toward the temple of the Lord and their faces toward the east, they were bowing down to the sun in the east.
17 He said to me, “Have you seen this, son of man? Is it a trivial matter for the people of Judah to do the detestable things they are doing here? Must they also fill the land with violence and continually arouse my anger? Look at them putting the branch to their nose! 18 Therefore I will deal with them in anger; I will not look on them with pity or spare them. Although they shout in my ears, I will not listen to them.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by
Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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