The new Gentile converts had been saved by the blood of Christ, but the Jewish believers in Jesus didn’t know what to do with them. So they decided to teach them the basics (don’t consume blood, don’t fornicate, etc.) and encourage them to learn about Moses (the Torah) in the synagogues.

Every time Paul referred to the scriptures, he was talking about the Old Testament or Tenakh. The New Testament had not as yet been written and canonized.

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Dispute in Antioch

15 Some men came down from Judea and began to teach the brothers: “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom prescribed by Moses, you cannot be saved!” 2 But after Paul and Barnabas had engaged them in serious argument and debate, the church arranged for Paul and Barnabas and some others of them to go up to the apostles and elders in Jerusalem concerning this controversy. 3 When they had been sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, explaining in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and they created great joy among all the brothers.

4 When they arrived at Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church, the apostles, and the elders, and they reported all that God had done with them. 5 But some of the believers from the party…

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Numbers 15: Intentional & Unintentional Sins

English: Hebrew Bible text as written in a Jew...
English: Hebrew Bible text as written in a Jewish Sefer Torah. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Several things stand out in Numbers 15.

1) The chapter begins with the phrase “Now the LORD spoke to Moses.”  That phrase is repeated throughout Numbers, indicating that Moses had an intimate relationship with the LORD.

2) The same laws, statutes, commandments,and ordinances apply to the native (Hebrew) as well as the alien (Gentile) who dwell among the sons of Israel.

3) The LORD distinguishes between an intentional sin (defiance equivalent to blasphemy) and an unintentional sin (an error).

“You shall have one law for him who does anything unintentionally, for him who is native among the sons of Israel and for the alien who sojourns among them. But the person who does anything defiantly, whether he is native or an alien, that one is blaspheming the LORD; and that person shall be cut off from among his people. Because he has despised the word of the LORD and has broken His commandments, that person shall be completely cut off; his guilt will be on him” (Numbers 15: 29-31 NASB).

Hebrew language in the sky over Conyers, GA, USA
Hebrew language in the sky over Conyers, GA, USA (Photo credit: angelofsweetbitter2009)

Numbers 14 and the Book of Hebrews

English: Joshua Saved, as in Numbers 14:10, by...
English: Joshua Saved, as in Numbers 14:10, by John Steeple Davis, from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons. Edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer. 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Israel Driven Back into the Desert, a...
English: Israel Driven Back into the Desert, as in Numbers 14:33, illustration from The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons. Edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer. 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Numbers 14 tells of Israel’s reaction to the “bad report” that there are giants in the Promised Land of Canaan. Instead of listening to the good reports that Caleb and Joshua share, the Hebrews reject Moses and want to return to Egypt–in spite of all of the miracles that God has performed for them.

God considers destroying them and making a nation out of Moses instead. Moses intercedes on Israel’s behalf. God hears Moses prayer:  “The Lord is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation. Pardon, I beseech thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of thy mercy,and as thou has forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now” (Numbers 14: 18-19 KJV).

God replies: “I have pardoned according to thy word: But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not harkened to my voice; surely they will not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it” (Numbers 14: 20-23 KJV).

Of that generation, only Caleb and Joshua were allowed to enter the Promised Land because they gave a good report and were willing to obey God’s command to overtake Canaan.

Why did the Hebrews spend forty years in the wilderness?  “After the number of the days in which ye searched the land, even forty days, each day for a year, shall ye bear your iniquities, even forty years, and ye shall know my breach of promise” (Numbers 14: 34 KJV).

What can we learn from Numbers 14?  Turn to the Book of Hebrews.

“Without faith it is impossible to please [God], for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him” (Hebrews 11: 6 NASB).

“TODAY IF YOU HEAR HIS VOICE, DO NOT HARDEN YOUR HEARTS, AS WHEN THEY PROVOKED ME.  For who provoked [God] when they had heard?  Indeed, did not all those who came out of Egypt led by Moses?  And with whom was He angry for forty years?  Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness?  And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient?  So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief” (Hebrews 3: 15-19).

I wrote about the Nephillim in my post “Numbers 13: A Bad Report” a few days ago, and then I learned of this video on Lyn Leahz’s blog. It’s remarkable, and whether or not you agree with Chuck Missler’s take on UFOs, you will find the video intriguing.

Lyn Leahz

This is a long video, but well worth the watch when you have time.  Chuck goes into great detail in the beginning to give you substantial background, but in the middle, he starts delving into how this all pertains to the Bible, the Days of Noah, and the days we are living in.  He sums it up with a great salvation and preparation message as well. I can’t tell you enough that I learned so many new things tonight as I watched this…things I never had any idea. He even explains why the English language reads left to right and why Arabic and Hebrew reads right to left. Mind blowing!  This video will make you think!  Let me put it to you this way…you’ll NEVER forget it.  

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Dream and Visions: Take Note

Foster Bible Pictures 0043-1 Jacob's Ladder
Foster Bible Pictures 0043-1 Jacob’s Ladder (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everybody dreams. According to Job 33: 14-16, God speaks to us in dreams and reveals our instructions.

All dreams are not from God, but some are. When it comes to dreaming, two things are essential: get enough sleep (6-8 hours a night) and keep a pen and notebook by the bed.

When you wake up from a dream, write down everything you remember about the dream immediately–regardless of what time it is. Suppose you wake up at 3 a.m. from a vivid dream. You go back to sleep without writing the dream down because you think that you will remember it later. Chances are you won’t remember a thing about it.

When you record your dreams, keep these things in mind:

1) Are you actually in the dream, or are you an observer?

2) Who else is in the dream?

3) Is the dream in vivid color, in black and white, or muted (like sepia)? If your dream is in color, is everything in color or just certain objects?

4) What is the theme? Sub theme? Give the dream a title.

5) Is the dream organized like a story with chapters, or is it “all over the place?”

6) Do you see words, numbers, or lights in your dreams?

7) Would you say that some of the objects, colors, or people in your dream are symbolic? Many books discuss symbols in dreams; however, the same symbol can mean one thing to one person and something different to another.

8) Categorize the dream. Is it spiritual, of the flesh, dark, happy, scary, encouraging, prophetic? Sometimes only time will tell.

I am not an expert. I research dreams from a Biblical perspective (the best place to start). As you read the Bible, circle the words dream, vision, and night vision. You’ll be amazed how often those terms occur in the Old and New Testaments.

English: A Picture Of John Paul Jackson
English: A Picture Of John Paul Jackson (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To learn more about dreams and visions, check out the following dream interpreters who view dreams from a Biblical perspective, not a Freudian one: John Paul Jackson (http://www.streamsministries.com), Perry Stone (http://www.voe.org/), and Mark Virkler (http://www.cwgministries.org/).

More than likely, you are the best person to interpret your dreams, but it helps to know what to look for.

Numbers 13: A Bad Report

Merenptah Stele (Israel Stele): the name Canaa...
Merenptah Stele (Israel Stele): the name Canaan written in hieroglyphs as it appears on the stele (mirror view) in line 26 (context: Canaan is captive with all woe). Transliteration: k-A-n-a-n-a (basket with handle-Egyptian vulture-ripple of water-arm-ripple of water-arm) plus determinatives: enemy-foreign land (throwing stick-three hills). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Numbers 13: 1-2, we read that God told Moses to send spies into the land of Canaan, the land that God was giving to the sons of Israel. The “spies” were to consist of a leader from each tribe.

Moses told the leaders to “See what the land is like, and whether the people who live in it are strong or weak, whether they are few or many. How is the land in which they live, is it good or bad? And how are the cities in which they live, are they like open camps or with fortifications? How is the land, is it fat or lean? Are there trees in it or not? Make an effort then to get some of the fruit of the land” (Numbers 13: 18-20).

The leaders did as they were told. After spying out the land over a period of 40 days, they returned with grapes, pomegranates and figs and said that the land “flows with milk and honey.” They informed Moses, Aaron, and the sons of Israel that the people in Canaan are “strong,” the cities “fortified and very large,” and “the descendants of Anak” live there.

Caleb from the tribe of Judah “quieted the people” and said, “We should . . . take possession [of the land], for we will we surely overcome it.”

BUT [always pay attention when you see the word “but” in scripture], the leaders who had spied out the land with Caleb gave a bad report saying that the people of the land “are too strong for us . . . .”  The land “devours its inhabitants,” and “the men are of great size.” Furthermore, “the Nephilim (the sons of Anak)” lived in Canaan.

Compared to the Nephilim, the spies–except for Caleb–felt like “grasshoppers.” (Who are the Nephilim?  The offspring of the “sons of God” and “the daughters of men.”  Biblical scholars disagree on what is meant by the “sons of God.” Some regard the “sons of God” as rebellious angelic beings. Others as the sons of Seth.  [See Genesis 6: 1-4.] Regardless of their origin, the Nephilim–were reportedly “giants.”)

English: Joshua and Caleb, as in Numbers 13
English: Joshua and Caleb, as in Numbers 13 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Caleb (and Joshua in Numbers 14:6) walked by faith and not by sight. The remaining leaders of the sons of Israel were walking by sight and not by faith. When circumstances seem larger than God, we have lost our vision, and the results can be catastrophic as we will see in the next chapter.

Numbers 12: Dreams, Visions, Seeing God

English: Miriam and Aaron complain against Mos...
English: Miriam and Aaron complain against Moses, engraving from “The Bible and Its Story Taught by One Thousand Picture Lessons, vol. 2”, edited by Charles F. Horne and Julius A. Bewer, published by Francis R. Niglutsch, New York, 1908. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Today I read Numbers 12: 1-16 (NABS). This is the chapter in which Aaron and Miriam grumble against Moses. God heard their complaint and summoned the three of them to the tent of meeting. Then “the LORD came down in a pillar of cloud and stood at the doorway of the tent” (verse 5a).

There He confronted Aaron and Miriam and let them know that He makes Himself known to prophets in visions and talks to them in dreams. But with Moses, He speaks “mouth to mouth,” and Moses sees “the form of the LORD” (verse 8a).

Backing up to verse 3, we find that God regarded Moses as “very humble, more than any man on the face of the earth.” So clearly humility is a key to having intimacy with God.

As a result of Miriam’s sin, she becomes leprous, repents, and is healed. As a leper she looked as “white as snow.” That’s an interesting phrase because believers associate “white as snow” with purity, whereas in this sentence, “white as snow” is a description of leprosy.

PRAYER: LORD forgive our pride and tendency to grumble. Help us to embrace humility so that we may enjoy intimacy with you as never before. In Yeshua’s (Jesus’) name.

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