Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 4 - Morning

"Because your sins are so many and your hostility so great, the prophet is considered a fool, the inspired person a maniac. The prophet, along with my God, is the watchman over Ephraim" - Hosea 9:7-8

Who is the Real Madman? You Will Decide!

God tried to reach the people of northern Israel around 740 BC before they fell to the Assyrian invasion in 723-721 BC. God sent them prophets with a message. But, Israel was so lost in pseudo-philosophies and false truths they could not correctly evaluate God’s prophets and the men inspired by the Holy Spirit. In scripture a fool was a stupid man who rebelled against the truth of God, and so, lived a corrupt life.  A “maniac” is a crazy man who has lost his mind. 
Jeremiah was called a madman in Jeremiah 29:26-27:
“You should put any madman who acts like a prophet into the stocks and neck-irons. So why have you not reprimanded Jeremiah from Anathoth, who poses as a prophet among you?”

The captains of General Jehu’s military forces called the prophet that Elisha sent to anointed Jehu a madman in 2 Kings 9:11 and the Jews said that Jesus was possessed by a demon in John 10:20. The same thing is true and proclaimed in the New Testament in the spring of 55 AD by the Apostle Paul in the New Testament:
“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing…but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to Gentiles…The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  - 1 Cor. 1:18, 23; 2:14

Governor Festus called Paul mad in Acts 26:24:
“You are out of your mind, Paul! Your great learning is driving you insane.”

People who misjudge true prophets of God as fools and madmen (or, who misjudge false prophets and heretical teachers as wise men led by the Holy Spirit) have two problems according to Hosea:
1) Personal sin or iniquity 2) Great hostility or hatred toward the Truth and against the men who clearly and accurately demand that the Truth of the Word of God be manifest in the daily personal character of individuals and on the national stage of a society as a whole.
Personal sin and hatred of Truth in doctrine and application will cloud and confuse people’s
ability to rightly judge a true man of God. Likewise, the same sin and hostility to the Truth will
cause people to embrace a false prophet, a deviant teacher or a man posing as a biblical pastor.
Yet, in all this, the prophet is God's watchmen and a voice warning of coming destruction.
It is a sad and hopeless tragedy when the man warning the public of disaster is mocked
and discredited as being insane, while people flock to the selfish leaders who promote
complacency and the status quo that will surely enhance the speed and severity of the disaster.
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Parar (Hb) - Break (Eng) - The Hebrew word parar refers to treading grain on the threshing floor by oxen to open up the hulls to remove the seeds. When someone disreguards God's laws and God's Word they are throwing them on the ground to trample on them like an ox threshing grain. Thus, we translate parar as "break." We can hear this Hebrew meaning come out in this NT verse:
"How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?" - Hebrews 10:29
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Do I realize that what the world calls foolish, may actually be valuable, honorable and correctly prioritized in God's eyes? Today I will try to identify what God has honored in my world.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

Malachi 4 (432 BC)

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Concern for those that need help


Chief Justice
Montenegro - recent independence promises hope

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The Herodion was a man made mountain 7 1/2 miles southeast of Jerusalem built by Herod the Great. It was a fortress for Herod to flee to if his kingdom rebelled against him or if they were attacked. It also served as a luxury palace.
(click on image for larger size and more photos here)
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Here is the excavated site of the Pool of Siloam. In 2004 the new sewer system was being installed when the steps were discovered.
(click on image for larger size and more photos here)

Someone to Quote

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“There are more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history.” – Sir Isaac Newton

Something to Ponder

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The Wisemen were called by a Persian word “magus” which referred to Persian priests. They studied planets and stars to predict eclipses, etc. To ancient people the “magus” (“magic”) would have seemed “magical.”

Here’s a Fact

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Excavation of Ur revealed several layers of ancient cities built on top of each other. Near the bottom, setting underneath these layers of civilizations was a solid layer of clay 8 feet thick laid down by clear water without any human artifacts. Below, these 8 feet of pure sediment was another civilization that had suddenly ended. It was completely separate in culture from the ones above. (Google “C.L. Woolley” with “8 foot Flood Layer”)


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"The way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble."
Proverbs 4:19

Coach’s Corner

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Always take God with you. Take the understanding of his Word and his ways into your daily life. Never go into life without God with only your own perspective and your own understanding. Take God along. 

2 Kings 22
New International Version (NIV)
The Book of the Law Found
22 Josiah was eight years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem thirty-one years. His mother’s name was Jedidah daughter of Adaiah; she was from Bozkath. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord and followed completely the ways of his father David, not turning aside to the right or to the left.
In the eighteenth year of his reign, King Josiah sent the secretary, Shaphan son of Azaliah, the son of Meshullam, to the temple of the Lord. He said: “Go up to Hilkiah the high priest and have him get ready the money that has been brought into the temple of the Lord, which the doorkeepers have collected from the people. Have them entrust it to the men appointed to supervise the work on the temple. And have these men pay the workers who repair the temple of the Lord— the carpenters, the builders and the masons. Also have them purchase timber and dressed stone to repair the temple. But they need not account for the money entrusted to them, because they are honest in their dealings.”
Hilkiah the high priest said to Shaphan the secretary, “I have found the Book of the Law in the temple of the Lord.” He gave it to Shaphan, who read it. Then Shaphan the secretary went to the king and reported to him: “Your officials have paid out the money that was in the temple of the Lord and have entrusted it to the workers and supervisors at the temple.” 10 Then Shaphan the secretary informed the king, “Hilkiah the priest has given me a book.” And Shaphan read from it in the presence of the king.
11 When the king heard the words of the Book of the Law, he tore his robes. 12 He gave these orders to Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam son of Shaphan, Akbor son of Micaiah, Shaphan the secretary and Asaiah the king’s attendant: 13 “Go and inquire of the Lord for me and for the people and for all Judah about what is written in this book that has been found. Great is the Lord’s anger that burns against us because those who have gone before us have not obeyed the words of this book; they have not acted in accordance with all that is written there concerning us.”
14 Hilkiah the priest, Ahikam, Akbor, Shaphan and Asaiah went to speak to the prophet Huldah, who was the wife of Shallum son of Tikvah, the son of Harhas, keeper of the wardrobe. She lived in Jerusalem, in the New Quarter.
15 She said to them, “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: Tell the man who sent you to me, 16 ‘This is what the Lord says: I am going to bring disaster on this place and its people, according to everything written in the book the king of Judah has read. 17 Because they have forsaken me and burned incense to other gods and aroused my anger by all the idols their hands have made,[a] my anger will burn against this place and will not be quenched.’ 18 Tell the king of Judah, who sent you to inquire of the Lord, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says concerning the words you heard: 19 Because your heart was responsive and you humbled yourself before the Lord when you heard what I have spoken against this place and its people—that they would become a curse[b] and be laid waste—and because you tore your robes and wept in my presence, I also have heard you, declares the Lord. 20 Therefore I will gather you to your ancestors, and you will be buried in peace. Your eyes will not see all the disaster I am going to bring on this place.’”
So they took her answer back to the king.
  1. 2 Kings 22:17 Or by everything they have done
  2. 2 Kings 22:19 That is, their names would be used in cursing (see Jer. 29:22); or, others would see that they are cursed.
Malachi 4
New International Version (NIV)
Judgment and Covenant Renewal
[a]“Surely the day is coming; it will burn like a furnace. All the arrogant and every evildoer will be stubble, and the day that is coming will set them on fire,” says the Lord Almighty. “Not a root or a branch will be left to them. But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its rays. And you will go out and frolic like well-fed calves. Then you will trample on the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty.
“Remember the law of my servant Moses, the decrees and laws I gave him at Horeb for all Israel.
“See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents; or else I will come and strike the land with total destruction.”
  1. Malachi 4:1 In Hebrew texts 4:1-6 is numbered 3:19-24.
Ezekiel 24-25
New International Version (NIV)
Jerusalem as a Cooking Pot
24 In the ninth year, in the tenth month on the tenth day, the word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, record this date, this very date, because the king of Babylon has laid siege to Jerusalem this very day. Tell this rebellious people a parable and say to them: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Put on the cooking pot; put it on     and pour water into it.

Put into it the pieces of meat,     all the choice pieces—the leg and the shoulder. Fill it with the best of these bones;

    take the pick of the flock. Pile wood beneath it for the bones;     bring it to a boil     and cook the bones in it.
“‘For this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed,     to the pot now encrusted,     whose deposit will not go away! Take the meat out piece by piece     in whatever order it comes.

“‘For the blood she shed is in her midst:     She poured it on the bare rock; she did not pour it on the ground,     where the dust would cover it.

To stir up wrath and take revenge     I put her blood on the bare rock,     so that it would not be covered.
“‘Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“‘Woe to the city of bloodshed!     I, too, will pile the wood high.
So heap on the wood     and kindle the fire. Cook the meat well,     mixing in the spices;     and let the bones be charred.
Then set the empty pot on the coals     till it becomes hot and its copper glows, so that its impurities may be melted     and its deposit burned away.
It has frustrated all efforts;     its heavy deposit has not been removed,     not even by fire.
13 “‘Now your impurity is lewdness. Because I tried to cleanse you but you would not be cleansed from your impurity, you will not be clean again until my wrath against you has subsided.
14 “‘I the Lord have spoken. The time has come for me to act. I will not hold back; I will not have pity, nor will I relent. You will be judged according to your conduct and your actions, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
Ezekiel’s Wife Dies
15 The word of the Lord came to me: 16 “Son of man, with one blow I am about to take away from you the delight of your eyes. Yet do not lament or weep or shed any tears. 17 Groan quietly; do not mourn for the dead. Keep your turban fastened and your sandals on your feet; do not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners.”
18 So I spoke to the people in the morning, and in the evening my wife died. The next morning I did as I had been commanded.
19 Then the people asked me, “Won’t you tell us what these things have to do with us? Why are you acting like this?”
20 So I said to them, “The word of the Lord came to me: 21 Say to the people of Israel, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to desecrate my sanctuary—the stronghold in which you take pride, the delight of your eyes, the object of your affection. The sons and daughters you left behind will fall by the sword. 22 And you will do as I have done. You will not cover your mustache and beard or eat the customary food of mourners. 23 You will keep your turbans on your heads and your sandals on your feet. You will not mourn or weep but will waste away because of[a] your sins and groan among yourselves. 24 Ezekiel will be a sign to you; you will do just as he has done. When this happens, you will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.’
25 “And you, son of man, on the day I take away their stronghold, their joy and glory, the delight of their eyes, their heart’s desire, and their sons and daughters as well— 26 on that day a fugitive will come to tell you the news. 27 At that time your mouth will be opened; you will speak with him and will no longer be silent. So you will be a sign to them, and they will know that I am the Lord.”
A Prophecy Against Ammon
25 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against the Ammonites and prophesy against them. Say to them, ‘Hear the word of the Sovereign Lord. This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you said “Aha!” over my sanctuary when it was desecrated and over the land of Israel when it was laid waste and over the people of Judah when they went into exile, therefore I am going to give you to the people of the East as a possession. They will set up their camps and pitch their tents among you; they will eat your fruit and drink your milk. I will turn Rabbah into a pasture for camels and Ammon into a resting place for sheep. Then you will know that I am the Lord. For this is what the Sovereign Lord says: Because you have clapped your hands and stamped your feet, rejoicing with all the malice of your heart against the land of Israel, therefore I will stretch out my hand against you and give you as plunder to the nations. I will wipe you out from among the nations and exterminate you from the countries. I will destroy you, and you will know that I am the Lord.’”
A Prophecy Against Moab
“This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because Moab and Seir said, “Look, Judah has become like all the other nations,” therefore I will expose the flank of Moab, beginning at its frontier towns—Beth Jeshimoth, Baal Meon and Kiriathaim—the glory of that land. 10 I will give Moab along with the Ammonites to the people of the East as a possession, so that the Ammonites will not be remembered among the nations; 11 and I will inflict punishment on Moab. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”
A Prophecy Against Edom
12 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because Edom took revenge on Judah and became very guilty by doing so, 13 therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I will stretch out my hand against Edom and kill both man and beast. I will lay it waste, and from Teman to Dedan they will fall by the sword. 14 I will take vengeance on Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they will deal with Edom in accordance with my anger and my wrath; they will know my vengeance, declares the Sovereign Lord.’”
A Prophecy Against Philistia
15 “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: ‘Because the Philistines acted in vengeance and took revenge with malice in their hearts, and with ancient hostility sought to destroy Judah, 16 therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am about to stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will wipe out the Kerethites and destroy those remaining along the coast. 17 I will carry out great vengeance on them and punish them in my wrath. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I take vengeance on them.’”
  1. Ezekiel 24:23 Or away in

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