Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 3 - Evening

"Though Ephraim built many altars for sin offerings, these have become altars for sinning.  I wrote for them the many things of my law, but they regarded them as something foreign." - Hosea 8:11-12

Altars of Sinning

The Lord had explained worship and obedience in his Law which was given to Israel, but they disregarded his Word. Hosea says (8:12) that northern Israel regarded God’s Word:
- “as something foreign”
- "as a strange thing"
- "as something that does not concern him."

Israel’s (Ephraim's) problem was not that they failed to be religious or that they refused to build altars. Indeed, they were very active in religious things and they built many altars which they used to make atonement for sin and to make fellowship offerings to God. But, they did all this while rejecting God’s revelation of his Word given to them in the law.  They built altars and participated in religious activity created from their imaginations and designed to please their expectations and desires (called High Places). But, these “many altars” that they believed would please God “became altars for sinning” because they were not build or used as God intended. They did not communicate or advance God’s revelation given to Israel in his law where God says he “wrote for them the many things” that he desired.
Likewise we can build churches and schedule them with activities, youth groups, weddings, meetings, music and services, but if we regard the Word of God “as something foreign” (“as a strange thing”) we are building churches that hardened people to the Spirit of God, reinforce the perceived unimportance of God’s written revelation and contribute to the complacency of our Western Christian culture. Are we building many churches that become churches for sinning? The teaching and instruction of the written Word of God should not be “a strange thing” in our churches or “something foreign” in the life of the modern Christian.
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teleo (Gr) – “to complete” (Eng) – among the ancient papyri documents this word is written across tax receipts which meant “paid in full.” Jesus spoke this word from the cross in the perfect tense form: “tetelestai.” (perfect tense is used to describe a past action with results continuing into the present)  It is translated in English Bibles, “It is finished.” (Jn. 19:30)
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Do some of my religious activities and practices prevent me from hearing and understanding the Truth of God's Word? I will live in Truth, not religion.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


(morning only)

Complete Text

General Text

Malachi 3 (432 BC)

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The right words for the right moment


Secretary of Education
Mongolia - traditional religions; Bible translation updates

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View of the southeast corner of the Temple Mount. This is a likely location where Satan tempted Jesus to jump. In 26 AD there would have been a high tower at the top of this corner.
(click on image for larger size)
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Galyn Wiemers points at the top of the course of ashlar stones that remain from the line of Solomon’s western retaining wall. On the stone closest to Galyn, the margin (the trimmed edge) and the boss (the raised center) of the face of the stone could be seen up until the 1970’s. At that time the pavement where Galyn is standing was raised and mortar (which is visible in this photo to the left of the dotted line) was added to cover up the visible face, or outside, of Solomon’s western wall. Leen Ritmeyer has before and after photos of this alteration that he has published in his books and online. (click on image for larger size)

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Someone to Quote

“The tragedy of this late hour is that we have too many dead men in the pulpits giving out too many dead sermons to too many dead people.” – Leonard  Ravenhill

Something to Ponder

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OT gives details of a nation.
NT gives details of a man. Together we see that the nation was founded and developed by God to bring the man into the world.

Here’s a Fact

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Queen Hatshepsut is most likely the daughter of pharaoh who adopted Moses.


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"Do not plot harm against your neighbor, who lives trustfully near you."
Proverbs 3:29

Coach’s Corner

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God tells us to come to him, to seek him and to ask him. We have this ability if we decide we want God. He is waiting. 

Malachi 3
New International Version (NIV)
“I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. Then suddenly the Lord you are seeking will come to his temple; the messenger of the covenant, whom you desire, will come,” says the Lord Almighty.
But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver; he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. Then the Lord will have men who will bring offerings in righteousness, and the offerings of Judah and Jerusalem will be acceptable to the Lord, as in days gone by, as in former years.
“So I will come to put you on trial. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive the foreigners among you of justice, but do not fear me,” says the Lord Almighty.
Breaking Covenant by Withholding Tithes
“I the Lord do not change. So you, the descendants of Jacob, are not destroyed. Ever since the time of your ancestors you have turned away from my decrees and have not kept them. Return to me, and I will return to you,” says the Lord Almighty.
“But you ask, ‘How are we to return?’
“Will a mere mortal rob God? Yet you rob me.
“But you ask, ‘How are we robbing you?’
“In tithes and offerings.
You are under a curse—your whole nation—because you are robbing me. 10 Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the Lord Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. 11 I will prevent pests from devouring your crops, and the vines in your fields will not drop their fruit before it is ripe,” says the Lord Almighty. 12 “Then all the nations will call you blessed, for yours will be a delightful land,” says the Lord Almighty.
Israel Speaks Arrogantly Against God
13 “You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
14 “You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? 15 But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”
The Faithful Remnant
16 Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name.
17 “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. 18 And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.
Ezekiel 23
New International Version (NIV)
Two Adulterous Sisters
23 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, there were two women, daughters of the same mother. They became prostitutes in Egypt, engaging in prostitution from their youth. In that land their breasts were fondled and their virgin bosoms caressed. The older was named Oholah, and her sister was Oholibah. They were mine and gave birth to sons and daughters. Oholah is Samaria, and Oholibah is Jerusalem.
“Oholah engaged in prostitution while she was still mine; and she lusted after her lovers, the Assyrians—warriors clothed in blue, governors and commanders, all of them handsome young men, and mounted horsemen. She gave herself as a prostitute to all the elite of the Assyrians and defiled herself with all the idols of everyone she lusted after. She did not give up the prostitution she began in Egypt, when during her youth men slept with her, caressed her virgin bosom and poured out their lust on her.
“Therefore I delivered her into the hands of her lovers, the Assyrians, for whom she lusted. 10 They stripped her naked, took away her sons and daughters and killed her with the sword. She became a byword among women, and punishment was inflicted on her.
11 “Her sister Oholibah saw this, yet in her lust and prostitution she was more depraved than her sister. 12 She too lusted after the Assyrians—governors and commanders, warriors in full dress, mounted horsemen, all handsome young men. 13 I saw that she too defiled herself; both of them went the same way.
14 “But she carried her prostitution still further. She saw men portrayed on a wall, figures of Chaldeans[a] portrayed in red, 15 with belts around their waists and flowing turbans on their heads; all of them looked like Babylonian chariot officers, natives of Chaldea.[b] 16 As soon as she saw them, she lusted after them and sent messengers to them in Chaldea. 17 Then the Babylonians came to her, to the bed of love, and in their lust they defiled her. After she had been defiled by them, she turned away from them in disgust. 18 When she carried on her prostitution openly and exposed her naked body, I turned away from her in disgust, just as I had turned away from her sister. 19 Yet she became more and more promiscuous as she recalled the days of her youth, when she was a prostitute in Egypt. 20 There she lusted after her lovers, whose genitals were like those of donkeys and whose emission was like that of horses. 21 So you longed for the lewdness of your youth, when in Egypt your bosom was caressed and your young breasts fondled.[c]
22 “Therefore, Oholibah, this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will stir up your lovers against you, those you turned away from in disgust, and I will bring them against you from every side— 23 the Babylonians and all the Chaldeans, the men of Pekod and Shoa and Koa, and all the Assyrians with them, handsome young men, all of them governors and commanders, chariot officers and men of high rank, all mounted on horses. 24 They will come against you with weapons,[d] chariots and wagons and with a throng of people; they will take up positions against you on every side with large and small shields and with helmets. I will turn you over to them for punishment, and they will punish you according to their standards. 25 I will direct my jealous anger against you, and they will deal with you in fury. They will cut off your noses and your ears, and those of you who are left will fall by the sword. They will take away your sons and daughters, and those of you who are left will be consumed by fire. 26 They will also strip you of your clothes and take your fine jewelry. 27 So I will put a stop to the lewdness and prostitution you began in Egypt. You will not look on these things with longing or remember Egypt anymore.
28 “For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to deliver you into the hands of those you hate, to those you turned away from in disgust. 29 They will deal with you in hatred and take away everything you have worked for. They will leave you stark naked, and the shame of your prostitution will be exposed. Your lewdness and promiscuity 30 have brought this on you, because you lusted after the nations and defiled yourself with their idols. 31 You have gone the way of your sister; so I will put her cup into your hand.
32 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“You will drink your sister’s cup,     a cup large and deep; it will bring scorn and derision,     for it holds so much.
You will be filled with drunkenness and sorrow,     the cup of ruin and desolation,     the cup of your sister Samaria.
You will drink it and drain it dry     and chew on its pieces—     and you will tear your breasts.
I have spoken, declares the Sovereign Lord.
35 “Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Since you have forgotten me and turned your back on me, you must bear the consequences of your lewdness and prostitution.”
36 The Lord said to me: “Son of man, will you judge Oholah and Oholibah? Then confront them with their detestable practices, 37 for they have committed adultery and blood is on their hands. They committed adultery with their idols; they even sacrificed their children, whom they bore to me, as food for them. 38 They have also done this to me: At that same time they defiled my sanctuary and desecrated my Sabbaths. 39 On the very day they sacrificed their children to their idols, they entered my sanctuary and desecrated it. That is what they did in my house.
40 “They even sent messengers for men who came from far away, and when they arrived you bathed yourself for them, applied eye makeup and put on your jewelry. 41 You sat on an elegant couch, with a table spread before it on which you had placed the incense and olive oil that belonged to me.
42 “The noise of a carefree crowd was around her; drunkards were brought from the desert along with men from the rabble, and they put bracelets on the wrists of the woman and her sister and beautiful crowns on their heads. 43 Then I said about the one worn out by adultery, ‘Now let them use her as a prostitute, for that is all she is.’ 44 And they slept with her. As men sleep with a prostitute, so they slept with those lewd women, Oholah and Oholibah. 45 But righteous judges will sentence them to the punishment of women who commit adultery and shed blood, because they are adulterous and blood is on their hands.
46 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Bring a mob against them and give them over to terror and plunder. 47 The mob will stone them and cut them down with their swords; they will kill their sons and daughters and burn down their houses.
48 “So I will put an end to lewdness in the land, that all women may take warning and not imitate you. 49 You will suffer the penalty for your lewdness and bear the consequences of your sins of idolatry. Then you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”
  1. Ezekiel 23:14 Or Babylonians
  2. Ezekiel 23:15 Or Babylonia; also in verse 16
  3. Ezekiel 23:21 Syriac (see also verse 3); Hebrew caressed because of your young breasts
  4. Ezekiel 23:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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