Spiritual Training

Spiritual Training X2

September 7 - Morning

"The words of Amos, one of the shepherds of Tekoa —the vision he saw concerning Israel two years before the earthquake, when Uzziah was king of Judah and Jeroboam son of Jehoash was king of Israel." - Amos 1:1

Amos: Shepherd, Arborist, Herdsman and Prophet

Amos was not a professional prophet or from the priestly tribe of Levi. Even in chapter 7:14 Amos protests boldly that he is not professionally or genetically associated with the prophets when he rebukes one of the priest for rejecting him and his words from God. Amos confronts Amaziah the priest by saying:
“I was neither a prophet nor a prophet’s son, but I was a shepherd, and I also took care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord took me from tending the flock and said to me,‘Go, prophesy to my people Israel.’ Now then, hear the word of the Lord.”
The word for “shepherd” used in Amos 1:1 is not simply the word roeh which refers to someone hired to watch the sheep. It is the plural of the word noqed (noqedim) which is a word also used in 2 Kings 3:4 in reference to breeding sheep. In 7:14 Amos also calls himself a boqer or “herdsman.” In addition to this Amos added that he was “a dresser of sycamore trees. This involved piercing the figs to help them grow and scraping the figs to help resist insects. Amos was used to hard work and he had a variety of farming skills which he used for seasonal work at several locations in Judah.
Amos was from Tekoa which is 10 miles south of Jerusalem, 5 miles south of Bethlehem in the Judean Hill country with the Desert of Tekoa immediately to the east. God sent Amos from Judah to prophecy to the northern land of Israel in the city of Bethel. There Amos warned the leaders and the priests between the years 760-750 BC of the coming Assyrian dispersion if Israel didn’t repent. The professional priests and professional prophets (which was the only kind they appear to be familiar with) rejected Amos and told him to go back to Judah to make his living as a prophet there. They said:
“Get out, you seer! Go back to the land of Judah. Earn your bread there and do your prophesying there. Don’t’ prophesy anymore at Bethel, because this is the king’s sanctuary and the temple of the kingdom.” (Amos 7:12-13)
The professional prophets and priests in Bethel clearly could not discern between the reality of being called and gifted in order to serve a nation with merely being educated and trained in order to be employed in a nation.
The professional prophets and priests were employed by Israel’s King and worked for the people of the land. They did not appreciate Amos speaking against the system that employed them. Of course, Amos was in a sense, employed by someone greater than the king of Bethel. He was working for a greater King from an enduring kingdom. Of course, the priests of Bethel could not tolerate the words of Amos; just like the Great King that Amos served could not tolerate the words and practices of Bethel. So, in 722 BC, Amos’ King, the Lord God, destroyed Bethel with the Assyrian troops. He utterly wiped out the priests and the prophets who had boldly served the worldly system of Bethel. Today we read and study the book of Amos, but, in contrast, the only words of the Bethel priests and prophets we have available are the ones that Amos incidentally recorded in his book.
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Qedem ( Heb) - East (Eng) - Hebrews used the direction East like we use North to orientate ourselves for directions on maps and compasses. The Hebrew word for east is qedem and literally means "the direction of the rising sun". Even the Hebrew word for south (teyman from the root yaman) means "to the right" which is the way you turn to go South if you are orientated or facing East. Qedem is also the word for past, because in the Hebrew mind the past was infront of you and the future was behind you (we think the opposite, or, we are oriented opposite concerning the past and future.)
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Do I disregard my spiritual gift and my "ministry" because I am not "clergy?" Today I will do something I normally think only "clergy" or "ministers" can do.

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Bible Reading Descriptions Here


Complete Text

General Text

John 1 (27 AD)

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Financial Support and Responsible Spending
Scientists and Theologians
Mozambique - natural disasters, dependency, disease

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The Arch of Titus, located in Rome southeast of the Roman Forum, commemorates Titus' victory over the Jews and the end of the 66-70 AD Jewish revolt. This triumphal arch was built in 82 AD. The modern importance of this arch is in the engraving found on the inside which shows the Temple treasures being carried into Rome by Roman soldiers after their destruction of the Temple and the city of Jerusalem in 70 AD. The image clearly shows the golden Table of Showbread, the golden Candle Stand, and the trumpets used by the priests. Many other items from the Temple can also be assumed to have made it to Rome. It seems these Temple treasures were taken from Rome by the Vandals but recaptured by the Romans of the Byzantine Empire and taken to Constantinople. The Temple treasures portrayed on the Arch of Titus may have ended up stored in the Nea Church by Justinian. (Photo by Bill Wallander)
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The Madaba map from the 500's AD shows the main Roman road called the Cardo with the most important Christian churches in relation to the Cardo. The Church of the Holy Sepulcher is shown with its basilica built in front of Calvary so that it extends all the way to the Cardo. Also, shown on the map are the Nea Church, the Siloam Church and the Zion Church. On Easter each year during the Byzantine era, a very large procession began at the Nea Church and progressed down the Cardo Street to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
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Someone to Quote

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“Today, few Americans are aware of the spiritual epidemic that wiped out the land of our Christian forefathers. Even fewer are aware that the same epidemic has reached our own shores, spreading like a virus.” – Ken Ham

Something to Ponder

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At death, in Bible times, an attending person would shout out a loud wail to announce death had occurred. Others would follow with a sharp, shrill shriek known as the death wail. This continued along with laments expressing love and sorrow until burial the same day.

Here’s a Fact

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The tabernacle, whose gold came out of Egypt, had 1,980 pounds of gold according to Exodus 12:36. This seems possible since the gold in King Tut’s solid gold coffin, also from Egypt, weighed 243 pounds itself.


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"A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin."
Proverbs 26:28

Coach’s Corner

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Don’t copy other people, copy the Lord. 

2 Kings 24
New International Version (NIV)
24 During Jehoiakim’s reign, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon invaded the land, and Jehoiakim became his vassal for three years. But then he turned against Nebuchadnezzar and rebelled. The Lord sent Babylonian, Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets. Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord’s command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood, and the Lord was not willing to forgive.
As for the other events of Jehoiakim’s reign, and all he did, are they not written in the book of the annals of the kings of Judah? Jehoiakim rested with his ancestors. And Jehoiachin his son succeeded him as king.
The king of Egypt did not march out from his own country again, because the king of Babylon had taken all his territory, from the Wadi of Egypt to the Euphrates River.
Jehoiachin King of Judah
Jehoiachin was eighteen years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem three months. His mother’s name was Nehushta daughter of Elnathan; she was from Jerusalem. He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as his father had done.
10 At that time the officers of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon advanced on Jerusalem and laid siege to it, 11 and Nebuchadnezzar himself came up to the city while his officers were besieging it. 12 Jehoiachin king of Judah, his mother, his attendants, his nobles and his officials all surrendered to him.
In the eighth year of the reign of the king of Babylon, he took Jehoiachin prisoner.
13 As the Lord had declared, Nebuchadnezzar removed the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and cut up the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord. 14 He carried all Jerusalem into exile: all the officers and fighting men, and all the skilled workers and artisans—a total of ten thousand. Only the poorest people of the land were left.
15 Nebuchadnezzar took Jehoiachin captive to Babylon. He also took from Jerusalem to Babylon the king’s mother, his wives, his officials and the prominent people of the land. 16 The king of Babylon also deported to Babylon the entire force of seven thousand fighting men, strong and fit for war, and a thousand skilled workers and artisans. 17 He made Mattaniah, Jehoiachin’s uncle, king in his place and changed his name to Zedekiah.
Zedekiah King of Judah
18 Zedekiah was twenty-one years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem eleven years. His mother’s name was Hamutal daughter of Jeremiah; she was from Libnah. 19 He did evil in the eyes of the Lord, just as Jehoiakim had done. 20 It was because of the Lord’s anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.
The Fall of Jerusalem
Now Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon.
John 1
New International Version (NIV)
The Word Became Flesh
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light.
The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. 11 He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him. 12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John testified concerning him. He cried out, saying, “This is the one I spoke about when I said, ‘He who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’”) 16 Out of his fullness we have all received grace in place of grace already given. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.
John the Baptist Denies Being the Messiah
19 Now this was John’s testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. 20 He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, “I am not the Messiah.”
21 They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
He said, “I am not.”
“Are you the Prophet?”
He answered, “No.”
22 Finally they said, “Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
23 John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, “I am the voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’”
24 Now the Pharisees who had been sent 25 questioned him, “Why then do you baptize if you are not the Messiah, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
26 “I baptize with water,” John replied, “but among you stands one you do not know. 27 He is the one who comes after me, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.”
28 This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan, where John was baptizing.
John Testifies About Jesus
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. 33 And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.”
John’s Disciples Follow Jesus
35 The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!”
37 When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus. 38 Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
39 “Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
So they went and saw where he was staying, and they spent that day with him. It was about four in the afternoon.
40 Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, was one of the two who heard what John had said and who had followed Jesus. 41 The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, “We have found the Messiah” (that is, the Christ). 42 And he brought him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter).
Jesus Calls Philip and Nathanael
43 The next day Jesus decided to leave for Galilee. Finding Philip, he said to him, “Follow me.”
44 Philip, like Andrew and Peter, was from the town of Bethsaida. 45 Philip found Nathanael and told him, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.”
46 “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” Nathanael asked.
“Come and see,” said Philip.
47 When Jesus saw Nathanael approaching, he said of him, “Here truly is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit.”
48 “How do you know me?” Nathanael asked.
Jesus answered, “I saw you while you were still under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
49 Then Nathanael declared, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the king of Israel.”
50 Jesus said, “You believe because I told you I saw you under the fig tree. You will see greater things than that.” 51 He then added, “Very truly I tell you, you will see ‘heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending on’ the Son of Man.”
Ezekiel 35
New International Version (NIV)
A Prophecy Against Edom
35 The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, set your face against Mount Seir; prophesy against it and say: ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against you, Mount Seir, and I will stretch out my hand against you and make you a desolate waste. I will turn your towns into ruins and you will be desolate. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
“‘Because you harbored an ancient hostility and delivered the Israelites over to the sword at the time of their calamity, the time their punishment reached its climax, therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will give you over to bloodshed and it will pursue you. Since you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you. I will make Mount Seir a desolate waste and cut off from it all who come and go. I will fill your mountains with the slain; those killed by the sword will fall on your hills and in your valleys and in all your ravines. I will make you desolate forever; your towns will not be inhabited. Then you will know that I am the Lord.
10 “‘Because you have said, “These two nations and countries will be ours and we will take possession of them,” even though I the Lord was there, 11 therefore as surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, I will treat you in accordance with the anger and jealousy you showed in your hatred of them and I will make myself known among them when I judge you. 12 Then you will know that I the Lord have heard all the contemptible things you have said against the mountains of Israel. You said, “They have been laid waste and have been given over to us to devour.” 13 You boasted against me and spoke against me without restraint, and I heard it. 14 This is what the Sovereign Lord says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15 Because you rejoiced when the inheritance of Israel became desolate, that is how I will treat you. You will be desolate, Mount Seir, you and all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the Lord.’”

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