Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

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August 9 - Evening

(The Lord said to Jeremiah) “I have heard what the prophets say who prophesy lies in my name. They say,

‘I had a dream! I had a dream!’

How long will this continue in the hearts of these lying prophets, who prophesy the delusions of their own minds? They think the dreams they tell one another will make my people forget my name, just as their ancestors forgot my name through Baal worship. Let the prophet who has a dream recount the dream, but let the one who has my word speak it faithfully! For what has straw to do with grain?” declares the Lord.

“Is not my word like fire,” declares the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces?"

declares the Lord, “I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me…They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies, yet I did not send or appoint them. They do not benefit these people in the least,” declares the Lord.' "

- Jeremiah 23:25-32

Popular Teaching of Popular Prophets

The “name” of the Lord refers to his character and his nature. This is not merely referring to forgetting the name used to identify God. Instead, they are forgetting who he is. The false prophets with their false messages, false doctrine, and false philosophies cause the people to forget the true character of the Lord. Once the Lord’s “name”, “character”, “word” or “nature” are forgotten then the floodgates have been opened for lies, deception and false worldviews to replace the Truth.

The example of Baal worship is used. In the past when Israel forgot the truth of the Lord they could no longer tell the difference between the character of Baal and the character of the Lord. In fact, Baal worship was much more understandable to the unrenewed mind of Israel. It was easier to accept Baal doctrine than to be transformed by the Truth. Here in Jeremiah 23 the Lord says the lies, the prophesies, the dreams and the teaching of the false prophets are doing the same thing.

Jeremiah calls the dreams “straw” or “chaff” (Hb. teben). “Chaff” has nothing in common with the useful, nutritious “grain” of God’s Word. In this case the Word of God will consume the straw.

Jeremiah says, “If the dreamer wants to tell everybody what he dreamt last night, go ahead. But, realize it was only an empty, meaningless dream someone had. No harm in sharing last night’s dreams, but realize they have no meaning.” On the other hand, Jeremiah adds, “If a man has the Word of God he should be as excited to share the Word of God as the man who wakes up and wants to tell about his dream. The man with the Word of God should present it accurately with no addition of his own thoughts and opinions. The Word of God should be taught faithfully.”

The power of the Word of God will burn away any interest someone may have in a weird dream. Like a hammer, the Word of the Lord will pulverize all the idle notions that popular culture wants to present as helpful and encouraging words.

It is interesting to notice that even in Jeremiah’s day when a false prophet’s words of encouragement (think of seminars presenting easy self-help steps) became popular among the people, the other false prophets would steal their teaching. As always, the market will be saturated with whatever the people are buying. The false prophets posing as “pastors” will teach from their pulpit whatever is filling the pews.

“I am against the prophets who steal from one another words supposedly from me... They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies… They do not benefit these people in the least.”  - Jeremiah 23:32
Mastix (Gr) – plague (Eng) – the Greek word mastix means “a whip” and “a scourge.” Mastix is translated like this in:
Acts 22:24 – “The tribune ordered him to be brought into the barracks, saying that he should be examined by flogging, to find out why they were shouting against him like this."
Hebrews 11:36 – “Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment." But, mastix is used metaphorically in:
Mark 3:10 – “He had healed many, so that all who had diseases pressed around him to touch him."
Mark 5:29 - "Immediately the flow of blood dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of her disease."
Mark 5:34 – “He said to her, 'Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.' ”
Luke 7:21 – “In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and  on many who were blind he bestowed sight."
I will consider the teaching that I hear in church and from the pulpit. I will discern between the teaching of men and the Word of the Lord. I will avoid allowing the teaching of men to dull my understanding of the character of the Lord.

Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Ezra 3 (537 BC)


For joy


Favor with man
Local mayors and city officials

The tomb on the left is cut from the actual bedrock. The cube shaped tomb has had the rock cleared out around the sides and the back so that the actual tomb is still part of the original rock on the side of the Mount of Olives. (Details)
Details of the division of the Promised Land from Joshua 13, 14, 15 located on a map.

Someone to Quote

"We say that those women who use drugs to bring on an abortion commit murder and will have to give an account to God for the abortion."
- Athenagoras, 177 AD

Something to Ponder

Strong's Concordance and Key Numbers

James Strong made a concordance that shows every English word in the text of the King James Version. Each Greek word in the New Testament (and also, each Hebrew and Aramaic word of the Old Testament) is numbered. In this way a student can look up the English word in Strong’s Concordance, find the verse they are referring to, and then look at the number listed beside the verse. This number can be referenced in the back of Strong’s concordance in the simple Hebrew dictionary (numbers are in regular straight font) or in the simple Greek dictionary (numbers are in italic font). In the dictionaries in the back by Strong’s number you will find the:

• Greek word in Greek letters, • Greek word transliterated into English letters, • Pronunciation of the Greek word, • Reference to the base word or related word, • A brief definition and • Some English words used to translate the Greek word.

The only skill the student needs is to know the Bible verse and numbers up to 5624. The same system is used for the Old Testament and Hebrew, but the numbers go up to 8674. Strong’s work is based on the best scholarship from the 1800’s, before the huge influx of ancient papyri were discovered and analyzed.

Here’s a Fact

Kiriath Jearim mentioned in Joshua 9:17 and was the city that kept the Ark of the Covenant after the Tabernacle was destroyed by the Philistines. David brought the Ark of the Covenant from Kiriath Jearim to Jerusalem in 1 Chronicles 13:5-8. Kiriath Jearim has been identified and is partially excavated.


"Wealth is worthless in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death."
- Proverbs 11:4

Coach’s Corner

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

Ezra 3 New International Version (NIV)
Rebuilding the Altar
When the seventh month came and the Israelites had settled in their towns, the people assembled together as one in Jerusalem. Then Joshua son of Jozadak and his fellow priests and Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel and his associates began to build the altar of the God of Israel to sacrifice burnt offerings on it, in accordance with what is written in the Law of Moses the man of God. Despite their fear of the peoples around them, they built the altar on its foundation and sacrificed burnt offerings on it to the Lord, both the morning and evening sacrifices. Then in accordance with what is written, they celebrated the Festival of Tabernacles with the required number of burnt offerings prescribed for each day. After that, they presented the regular burnt offerings, the New Moon sacrifices and the sacrifices for all the appointed sacred festivals of the Lord, as well as those brought as freewill offerings to the Lord. On the first day of the seventh month they began to offer burnt offerings to the Lord, though the foundation of the Lord’s temple had not yet been laid.
Rebuilding the Temple
Then they gave money to the masons and carpenters, and gave food and drink and olive oil to the people of Sidon and Tyre, so that they would bring cedar logs by sea from Lebanon to Joppa, as authorized by Cyrus king of Persia.
In the second month of the second year after their arrival at the house of God in Jerusalem, Zerubbabel son of Shealtiel, Joshua son of Jozadak and the rest of the people (the priests and the Levites and all who had returned from the captivity to Jerusalem) began the work. They appointed Levites twenty years old and older to supervise the building of the house of the Lord. Joshua and his sons and brothers and Kadmiel and his sons (descendants of Hodaviah) and the sons of Henadad and their sons and brothers—all Levites—joined together in supervising those working on the house of God.
10 When the builders laid the foundation of the temple of the Lord, the priests in their vestments and with trumpets, and the Levites (the sons of Asaph) with cymbals, took their places to praise the Lord, as prescribed by David king of Israel. 11 With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the Lord:
“He is good;     his love toward Israel endures forever.”
And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the Lord, because the foundation of the house of the Lord was laid. 12 But many of the older priests and Levites and family heads, who had seen the former temple, wept aloud when they saw the foundation of this temple being laid, while many others shouted for joy. 13 No one could distinguish the sound of the shouts of joy from the sound of weeping, because the people made so much noise. And the sound was heard far away.
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.
Jeremiah 9 New International Version (NIV)

Oh, that my head were a spring of water     and my eyes a fountain of tears! I would weep day and night     for the slain of my people.

Oh, that I had in the desert     a lodging place for travelers, so that I might leave my people     and go away from them; for they are all adulterers,     a crowd of unfaithful people.

“They make ready their tongue     like a bow, to shoot lies; it is not by truth     that they triumph in the land. They go from one sin to another;     they do not acknowledge me,” declares the Lord.

“Beware of your friends;     do not trust anyone in your clan. For every one of them is a deceiver,     and every friend a slanderer.

Friend deceives friend,     and no one speaks the truth. They have taught their tongues to lie;     they weary themselves with sinning.

You live in the midst of deception;     in their deceit they refuse to acknowledge me,” declares the Lord.
Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty says:
“See, I will refine and test them,     for what else can I do     because of the sin of my people?

Their tongue is a deadly arrow;     it speaks deceitfully. With their mouths they all speak cordially to their neighbors,     but in their hearts they set traps for them.

Should I not punish them for this?”     declares the Lord. “Should I not avenge myself     on such a nation as this?”
I will weep and wail for the mountains     and take up a lament concerning the wilderness grasslands. They are desolate and untraveled,     and the lowing of cattle is not heard. The birds have all fled     and the animals are gone.
“I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins,     a haunt of jackals; and I will lay waste the towns of Judah     so no one can live there.”
12 Who is wise enough to understand this? Who has been instructed by the Lord and can explain it? Why has the land been ruined and laid waste like a desert that no one can cross?
13 The Lord said, “It is because they have forsaken my law, which I set before them; they have not obeyed me or followed my law. 14 Instead, they have followed the stubbornness of their hearts; they have followed the Baals, as their ancestors taught them.” 15 Therefore this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “See, I will make this people eat bitter food and drink poisoned water. 16 I will scatter them among nations that neither they nor their ancestors have known, and I will pursue them with the sword until I have made an end of them.”
17 This is what the Lord Almighty says:
“Consider now! Call for the wailing women to come;     send for the most skillful of them.
Let them come quickly     and wail over us till our eyes overflow with tears     and water streams from our eyelids.
The sound of wailing is heard from Zion:     ‘How ruined we are!     How great is our shame! We must leave our land     because our houses are in ruins.’”
Now, you women, hear the word of the Lord;     open your ears to the words of his mouth. Teach your daughters how to wail;     teach one another a lament.
Death has climbed in through our windows     and has entered our fortresses; it has removed the children from the streets     and the young men from the public squares.
22 Say, “This is what the Lord declares:
“‘Dead bodies will lie     like dung on the open field, like cut grain behind the reaper,     with no one to gather them.’”
23 This is what the Lord says:
“Let not the wise boast of their wisdom     or the strong boast of their strength     or the rich boast of their riches,
but let the one who boasts boast about this:     that they have the understanding to know me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,     justice and righteousness on earth,     for in these I delight,” declares the Lord.
25 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will punish all who are circumcised only in the flesh— 26 Egypt, Judah, Edom, Ammon, Moab and all who live in the wilderness in distant places. For all these nations are really uncircumcised, and even the whole house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.”
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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