<html> <head> <meta http-equiv=Content-Type content="text/html; charset=unicode"> <meta name=Generator content="Microsoft Word 12 (filtered)"> <title>Untitled Document</title> <style> <!-- /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:"Cambria Math"; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4;} @font-face {font-family:Tahoma; panose-1:2 11 6 4 3 5 4 4 2 4;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {margin:0cm; margin-bottom:.0001pt; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} a:link, span.MsoHyperlink {color:blue; text-decoration:underline;} a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed {color:purple; text-decoration:underline;} p {margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; font-size:12.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} p.msochpdefault, li.msochpdefault, div.msochpdefault {mso-style-name:msochpdefault; margin-right:0cm; margin-left:0cm; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman","serif";} .MsoChpDefault {font-size:10.0pt;} @page Section1 {size:612.0pt 792.0pt; margin:72.0pt 90.0pt 72.0pt 90.0pt;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} --> </style> </head> <body lang=EN-US link=blue vlink=purple> <div class=Section1> <p>April Readings</p> <p>April 1 </p> <p>Num. 15</p> <p>The fact that he is condemned for having &quot; despised the commandment of the Lord&quot; (1 Sam. 12:9) in David's sin with Bathsheba indicates that He knew all along what God's will really was. The fact that the flesh took over does not in any way mitigate his responsibility in this. This is a direct quote from the Law's definition of the sin of presumption: &quot; The soul that doeth ought presumptuously...because he hath despised the word of the Lord...that soul shall utterly be cut off&quot; (Num.. 15:30,31). Knowing David s emotional nature and also the fact that he did not completely turn away from God afterwards, we would have expected a quicker repentance if it had been a passing sin of passion. It would therefore seem reasonable to assume that the sin was of presumption rather than passion. In his prosperity he had said  I shall never be moved and he was determined that he couldn t be (Ps. 30:6). Hearing those words from Nathan must have struck real fear into David- he was being incriminated for the supreme sin of presumption, for which there was no provision of sacrifice or repentance. It is a mark of his faith and knowledge of God as the God of love, that He is willing to go on to confess his sin, in the hope of forgiveness. &quot; Thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it&quot; (Ps. 51:16) was spoken by David more concerning this sin of presumption for which there was no sacrifice prescribed, rather than about the actual sin of adultery. However, we must not get the impression that David was a hard, callous man. Everything we know about him points to him be a big hearted, warm softie. David's sin with Bathsheba was in that sense out of character. Yet such is the stranglehold of sin that even he was forced to act with such uncharacteristic callousness and indifference to both God and man in order to try to cover his sin. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/6-4-3Davids_Sin_With_Bathsheba.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/6-4-3Davids_Sin_With_Bathsheba.htm</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prov. 11 </p> <p>We too can be a tree of life to those with whom we live; we can win their souls for the Kingdom (Prov. 11:30). The Thessalonians would be accepted in the final glory of judgment day simply  because our testimony among you was believed (2 Thess. 1:10). Eve, taken out of the wounded side of the first man, was a type of the ecclesia; and her name means  source of life , in anticipation of how the church would bring life to the world. We really can lead a person to eternity! So we should make absolutely every effort to do so.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/9-3power_of_preaching.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/9-3power_of_preaching.htm</a></p> <p>Lk. 24 </p> <p>&nbsp; </p> <p>Reading Luke and Acts through together, it becomes apparent that the author [Luke] saw the acts of the apostles as a continuation of those of the Lord Jesus. This is why he begins Acts by talking about his " former treatise" of all that Jesus had <em>begun </em>to do, implying that He had continued His doings through the doings of the apostles. Luke clearly saw the early ecclesia as preaching the same message as Jesus and the apostles; they continued what was essentially a shared witness. This means that we too are to see in the Lord and the 12 as they walked around Galilee the basis for our witness; we are continuing their work, with just the same message and range of responses to it. Lk. 24:47 concludes the Gospel with the command to go and preach remission of sins, continuing the work of the Lord Himself, who began His ministry with the proclamation of remission (Lk. 4:18 cp. 1:77). </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/20-24.htm </p> <p><br> April 2 </p> <p>Num. 16</p> <p>The NT not only encourages us to all be priests; but we can even aspire to the High Priesthood, in a certain sense. James 5:16 speaks of the need to pray for one another, that we may be healed. This is an undoubted allusion back to mighty Moses praying for smitten Miriam, and to Aaron staying the plague by his offering of incense / prayer (Num.. 16:47). Surely James is saying that every one of us can rise up to the level of High Priest in this sense. Under the Law, the provision for Nazariteship encouraged the average Israelite to enter into the spirit of the High Priest by imposing some of the regulations governing his behaviour upon them. All Israel were bidden make fringes of blue, in conscious imitation of the High Priest to whose spirit they all were intended to attain (Num.. 15:38). </p> <p>Prov. 12 </p> <p>God confirms men in the path they chose to tread. The very experience of sin confirms sinners in that way:  the way of the wicked seduceth them (Prov. 12:26). The more men sin, the more sin God counts to them, even if they may not have actually committed it. This is why we can t let up our guard and think that  well, it s only a little sin, just once&  .</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-11The_Downward_Spiral.html">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-11The_Downward_Spiral.html</a></p> <p>Gal. 1, 2</p> <p> Paul's attitude to his brethren seems to have changed markedly over the years. He begins as being somewhat detached from them; perhaps as all new converts are initially. We see the Truth for what it is, we realize we had to make the commitment we did, and we are happy to do our own bit in preaching the Truth. But often a real concern and care for our brethren takes years to develop. Paul seems to tell the Galatians that the Gospel he preached had not been given to him by men, because in the early days after his conversion he was rather indifferent towards other Christian believers; " (Paul) conferred not with flesh and blood" after his conversion, neither did he go to see the apostles in Jerusalem to discuss how to preach to Israel; instead, Paul says, he pushed off to Arabia for three years in isolation. He was unknown by face to the Judaean ecclesias, and even after his return from Arabia, he made no special effort to meet up with the Apostles (Gal. 1). The early Paul comes over as self-motivated, a maverick, all too ready to fall out with Barnabas, all too critical of Mark for failing to rise up to Paul's level of fearless devotion (Acts 15:39). And yet he grew over time to appreciate his need for commitment to his brethren; and it's a path we all follow as our discipleship progresses.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-2-1paul_and_his_brethren.htm </p> <p> <br> April 3</p> <p>Num. 17,18 </p> <p>The command that they who preach the Gospel should live of the Gospel is referring back to how the priests had no material inheritance but lived off the sacrifices (Num.. 18:11). And for us, the honour and wonder of preaching Christ should mean that we keep a loose hold on the material things of this life. And as we are all priests, we are all preachers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/a1.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/a1.htm</a>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prov. 13 </p> <p>Solomon saw himself as the Messianic King and therefore infallible. He again and again failed to realize the conditionality of all God has promised. His own words were so true of him:  There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing [quoted in Rev. 3:17 about the rejected]: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great wealth (Prov. 13:7). This last phrase is quoted about the Lord Jesus, who made Himself poor on the cross. And yet Solomon, who made himself rich, was the very anti-Christ. &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-3Solomons_Self_Justification.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-3Solomons_Self_Justification.htm</a></p> <p>Gal. 3, 4 </p> <p>In Jn. 18:37 Jesus told Pilate in the context of His upcoming death that He had come into this world to bear witness to the truth- the cross was the supreme witness and exhibition of the truth. There was no doctrine preached there, but rather the way of life which those doctrines ultimately lead to. Gal. 3:1 remonstrates with the Galatians as to how they could not obey the truth when the crucified Christ had been so clearly displayed to them; clearly Paul saw obedience to the truth as obedience to the implications of the cross. There is a powerful parallel in Gal. 4:16: I am your enemy because I tell you the truth... you are enemies of the cross of Christ. Thus the parallel is made between the cross and the truth. We are sanctified by the truth (Jn. 17:19); but our sanctification is through cleansing in the Lord s blood. The same word is used of our sanctification through that blood (Heb. 9:13; 10:29; 13:12). Perhaps this is why Dan. 8:11,12 seems to describe the altar as  the truth . The cross of Jesus is the ultimate truth. There we see humanity for what we really are; there we see the real effect of sin. Yet above all, there we see the glorious reality of the fact that a Man with our nature overcame sin, and through His sacrifice we really can be forgiven the untruth of all our sin; and thus have a real, concrete, definite hope of the life eternal.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/alcohol/alcohol_b4.htm</p> <p><br> April 4</p> <p>Num. 19 </p> <p>The  water of separation&quot; granted cleansing, in prophecy of the effect of the blood of Christ (Num.. 19:21). But the Hebrew for  separation&quot; is also translated  uncleanness (Lev. 20:21; Ezra 9:11; Zech. 13:1). Touching this water for any other reason made a man unclean. Only if used in the right context did it make him clean (Num.. 19:21). This is why it is described with a word which has these two meanings. Thus the RSV gives  water of impurity&quot;, the Russian, following an LXX manuscript:  water of purifying . And so it is with our contact with the work of the Lord, symbolized in the emblems. We are made unclean by it, we drink damnation to ourselves, if we don t discern it. Only if we properly discern it are we cleansed by it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/7-4-4breaking_of_bread_and_judgment.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/7-4-4breaking_of_bread_and_judgment.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 14 </p> <p>he utter <i>folly </i>&nbsp;of the rejected is a major theme (Prov. 14:8,18; Ps. 5:5; 49:13; Mt. 7:26; 25:8). Israel wandering in the wilderness until their carcasses lay strewn over the scrubland of Sinai connects with Cain also being a wanderer after his rejection. He was made a &quot;fugitive&quot;, from a Hebrew root meaning to shake, to totter, to reel. He was to wander, shaking with fear, reeling. The word is also rendered 'to bemoan'. It's an awful scene: bemoaning his lot, shaking, wandering, reeling, nowhere. The same image is found in Prov. 14:32:  The wicked is driven away [Heb. to totter, be chased] in his wickedness . And yet is this how Cain literally lived? Apparently not, for he married and built a city. He went through all the normal human functions, but in his soul, he was shaking, reeling, tottering, bemoaning his lot. And so it will be for the rejected. Jude matches this with &quot;<i>wandering </i>stars, unto whom is reserved the&nbsp; blackness of darkness&quot; (v.13). It does us good to think of the reality of rejection; that our destiny is only one of two possible outcomes. It helps us be the more grateful that we have been saved from wrath and condemnation through Jesus.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment4_7.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment4_7.htm</a></p> <p>Gal. 5, 6 </p> <p>To this extent does the preacher manifest his Lord, to the extent that Paul s preaching amongst the Galatians was a placarding forth of Christ crucified (Gal. 3:1 Gk.). God  was pleased to reveal his son in me, that I might preach him (Gal. 1:16). And thus Paul could conclude in Gal. 6:17 by saying that he bore in his body [perhaps an idiom for his life, cp. the  broken body of the Lord we remember] the stigmata of the Lord Jesus. He was so clearly a slave belonging to the Lord Jesus that it was as if one could see the marks of the nails in his body. Preaching is a revealing to men of the Christ that is within us; this is what witnessing in Christ is really about, rather than pushing bills or placing press adverts or writing letters. Not that any of these things are to be decried, but the essence is that we from deep within ourselves reveal Christ to men. This is why those who witness to Him, as only those in Him can, testify to His especial presence in this work. The promise that  I am with you always was in the context of being near the preacher as he or she witnesses.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/1-1-2Witnessing_For_Christ.html <br> April 5</p> <p>Num. 20, 21 </p> <p>Moses is one of greatest types of the Lord Jesus, in whom the Father was supremely manifested. Because of this, it is fitting that we should see a very high level of God manifestation in Moses. Indeed it seems that God was manifest in Moses to a greater degree than in any other Old Testament character. Israel  chode with Moses...they strove with the Lord (Num.. 20:3,13) uses the same Hebrew word for both  chode and  strove . To strive with Moses was to strive with the Lord- i.e. with the guardian Angel that was so closely associated with Moses? Num.. 20:4 continues rather strangely with the Israelites addressing Moses in the plural:  The people chode with Moses, saying...Why have ye [you plural] brought up... . Could it be that even they recognized his partnership with God? Likewise Num.. 21:5:  And the people spake against God, and against Moses, Wherefore have ye [plural] brought us up out of Egypt to die? .This amazing partnership between God and a man is replicable in <em>our</em> lives too!</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-8-1God_Manifestation_In_Moses.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-8-1God_Manifestation_In_Moses.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 15 </p> <p>There should be an element of preparation before offering  prayer, as there was before offering a sacrifice. Note how Prov. 15:8 parallels sacrifice with prayer. Prayer ought to be a humbling experience, perhaps alluded to by the incense, representing prayer, needing to be &quot;beaten small&quot;. Preparation of prayer involves humility. David takes words of supplication to himself, which as King he must often have heard from desperate citizens, and uses it in his own prayers to God: &quot;Save, Lord: let the king hear us when we call... A Psalm of David&quot; (Ps. 20:9). In this one sees a conscious humility in how David formulated his prayers.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pr/3-9how_to_improve_prayer.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pr/3-9how_to_improve_prayer.htm</a></p> <p>Eph 1, 2</p> <p>At our baptism we became " in Christ" . Through that act we obeyed all the Lord's invitations to believe " in Him" , or as the Greek means, to believe into Him. We believed into Him after we heard the Gospel, by baptism (Eph. 1:13). We are now connected with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ; we are treated by God as if we are His Son. His supreme righteousness is counted to us; we have a part in His redemption and salvation, because we are in Him (Rom. 3:24). In God's eyes, we became newly created people, because we were in Christ by baptism (2 Cor. 5:17; Col. 1:16,17). He made in Himself a new man (Eph. 2:15). But do we appreciate what it means to be " in Christ" as well as we might? The richness of His character, the wisdom and knowledge of the Father that is in Him, is there for our eternal discovery (Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:27; 2:3). We were baptized into His death; He had a cup to drink of (His death) and a baptism to be baptized with (His burial) which we now become united with (Rom. 6:3,4; Col. 2:10-12). As such great attention was focused upon that suffering Son in His death, as such lavish, almost senseless extravagance of care for His burial: all of this becomes lavished on us as we become in Him. All that is true of Him becomes in some way true of us; as He is the seed of Abraham, so we become; and so the list could go on. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/1-1-1What_It_Means_To_Be_In_Christ.html <br> April 6</p> <p>Num. 22, 23</p> <p>Balaam was one of God's prophets. Balak, an enemy of Israel asked him to curse Israel, in return for money. Balaam really wanted to curse Israel and get the reward, but God wouldn't let him. Balak sent a messenger to ask Balaam to come to him. Balaam asked God whether he should go. The answer was that he should not go. Then the messenger came again; and this time, God told Balaam to go with them, but only to speak God's word. It was as if God was pushing Balaam down the road to spiritual ruin. The end result of Balaam meeting Balak was that he advised Balak to make Israel sin with his women, which would mean that God would curse Israel. And for this Balaam was condemned. If Balaam had not gone with the messengers in the first place, he would not have fallen into this sin. But God told him to go with them (Num.. 22:20). And if we chose to be weak, then God can confirm us in our weakness, pushing us into a downward spiral.</p> <p>Prov. 16 </p> <p>Solomon came to see himself as somehow more than human. Consider his comment that &quot;the wrath of a king is as angels of death&quot; (Prov. 16:14). As God sends out angels of death, as on Passover night, it's a reflection of His decision as King in the court of Heaven. But Solomon decided that his court was as God's court, and therefore his thoughts, emotions and decisions would therefore be somehow Divinely fulfilled, with Angels sent out to fulfill them. He took 'God manifestation' to such a degree that he denied his own humanity, and this destroyed his own person. We see it happening all around us- church pastors, visual artists who think somehow God is speaking through them to the point they see themselves as &quot;Gods in their own right&quot; [as Dali and Picasso have been described as seeing themselves], Kings and political leaders and corporate directors and office managers and working class husbands and obsessive, domineering single mums... who all somehow come to see themselves as little gods with a 'Divine right' to infallible decision making for others. </p> <p class=MsoNormal>Solomon writes inspired truth in Proverbs of course, but it is inevitable that much of what he writes about the need to respect the man who has wisdom, and his superiority over all others, was written with an eye to his own self-justification. He even writes as if the king must be accepted as automatically infallible:  A divine sentence is in the lips of the king; his mouth transgresseth not in judgment& the fear of a king is as the roaring of a lion: whoso provoketh him to anger sinneth against his own soul (Prov. 16:10; 20:2). &nbsp; It was really Solomon's self-justification.&nbsp; </p> <p class=MsoNormal>Often Solomon s Proverbs bring out the tension between wealth and wisdom, and the need to chose wisdom (Prov. 8:11; 16:16). But whilst he was inspired to write this, and true as it all was, it is inevitable that Solomon said all this with his mind on the way that he had rejected wealth for wisdom when asked by God for his wish. He thought that his right choice in early life [cp. Christian baptism] justified him in later loving wealth rather than wisdom. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-3Solomons_Self_Justification.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-3Solomons_Self_Justification.htm</a></p> <p>Eph 3, 4 </p> <p>The Lord had prophesied that His followers over time  shall become one flock (Jn. 10:16 RV); they would be  perfected into one, that the world may know (Jn. 17:23 RV). He surely hoped this would have become true in the first century. And it could have been like this in the first century- for Eph. 3:9 speaks of how the unity of Jew and Gentile would  make all men see the Gospel. This is the urgency of Paul s appeal for unity in Ephesians- he knew that their unity was the intended witness to the world which the Lord had spoken of as the means of the fulfilment of the great comission in Jn. 17:21-23. But sadly, Jew and Gentile went their separate ways in the early church, unity in the church broke up, and the possibility of world-converting witness evaporated. Seeing the great commission is to be powerfully obeyed in our last days, we simply <em>must </em>learn the lesson. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-3-4Unity_In_The_Church.htm <br> April 7</p> <p>Num. 24, 25 </p> <p>Balaam's eyes were opened to the Angel blocking his way, and when he realized how he had closed his spiritual vision to the Angel trying to stop him going to Balak, he fell down on his face (Num.. 22:31). But when he is later given a vision of Balak s judgment, the vision which Balaam didn t want to see, he describes himself as  the man whose eye was closed and yet had to see the vision with his eyes open (Num.. 24:3,4 RV). He didn t learn the lesson. He closed his eyes so as not to see the vision, and yet God forced him to open his eyes and see it. And again, he fell down upon his face (Num.. 24:4,16 RV), as he had when the Angel blocked his path earlier. He wouldn t learn his lesson, he wouldn t perceive how circumstances were being repeated in God s desperate effort to get him to repent.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/5-2-1Repetition_In_Biblical_Narratives.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/5-2-1Repetition_In_Biblical_Narratives.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 17 </p> <p>Gossip is part of a downward spiral of spirituality. Once gossip starts a quarrel, it's like water bursting out of a dam; soon the whole land of Israel will be flooded (Prov. 17:14 NIV). So it's best not to start it, not only for our own sakes, but because of the effect it will have on the rest of the body. Peter likewise points an antithesis between gossiping and receiving &quot; the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby&quot; (1 Pet. 2:1,2). Real spiritual growth is impossible if we are taken up with gossiping; and this is true on the communal as well as individual level.<b>&nbsp; </b></p> <p class=MsoNormal>Prov. 17:9 says that seeking love by covering a transgression is the opposite of  repeating a matter . Think through this. It implies that we gossip, i.e. we repeat others s sins, because we chose not to cover their sin by forgiving it.<b>&nbsp; </b></p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-4-1Gossip_In_The_Church.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-4-1Gossip_In_The_Church.htm</a></p> <p>Eph 5, 6 </p> <p align="justify">Paul's argument in Eph. 5 is quite clear: the man represents Christ, and the woman represents the ecclesia. But have a look down at 5:30: " We (all of us) are members of (Christ's) body, of his flesh, and of his bones" . That the church <em>is</em> the body of Christ is a common New Testament theme. The figure of <em>being</em> somebody's body could not be more intense and personal. You touch your own body, feel your bones beneath your flesh- that's fundamentally <em>you</em>. Whilst of course Christ does have a separate bodily existence, we are fundamentally Christ. Without us and our inherent sinfulness, Christ would not have come into existence, nor would He now exist.  </p> <p>So, the man represents Christ, and the woman the ecclesia. But the ecclesia, all of it, <em>is</em> the body of Christ; so in this sense husbands should love their wives " as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh" (5:28,29). The more we appreciate the strength and power of typology, the more we will realize the spiritual unity which there should be between brethren and sisters. The physical body of Christ is not divided- there is only one Jesus in Heaven. If brethren represent Christ and sisters typify His body, then there should be no division- either between husbands and wives, or amongst brethren and sisters within Christ's body. Thus marriage breakdowns and internal ecclesial strife are equally wrong- they both spoil the typology presented in Eph. 5. They effectively tear Christ's body apart, as men tried to do on the cross. We say " tried to" because ultimately Christ's body is indivisible- in the same way as in a sense His body was " broken" (as it is by division in the body), whilst in another sense it remained unbroken, in God's sight. Likewise, the ecclesial body in God's sight is even now not divided- we are one in Christ.</p> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-4One_In_Christ.htm <p><br> April 8</p> <p>Num. 26</p> <p>There is reason to think that over time, the perception of the promises by the body of believers has moved from the physical to the spiritual. Thus the early Israelites thought of the promised inheritance as being effectively fulfilled in the fact that they had entered Canaan and were living there (Lev. 25:46; Num.. 26:55; Dt. 1:28; 12:10; Josh. 14:1). David went on to realize that the promised inheritance was not in this life, but looked forward to the day when God's people would eternally inherit Canaan through the gift of immortality (Ps. 25:13; 37:9,11; 69:36). Solomon went further, in that he spoke of the promised inheritance as the glory (Prov. 3:35), depth of knowledge (Prov. 14:18) and spiritual riches (Prov. 8:21; 28:10) which God's people will inherit in the future Kingdom. The Lord Jesus rarely spoke of the inheritance as inheriting land, but rather of inheriting &quot; everlasting life&quot; (Mt. 19:29), the Kingdom (Mt. 25:34), &quot; all things&quot; (Rev. 21:7). Likewise the NT writers saw the &quot; inheritance&quot; as forgiveness (Acts 3:25,26; 1 Pet. 3:9) and salvation (Heb. 1:14). These more abstract things will all be experienced in the land promised to Abraham; this is the unchangeable, literal basis of all the other blessings.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/2-4-1Jacob_And_The_Promises.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/2-4-1Jacob_And_The_Promises.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 18 </p> <p>Our Community has many strong points, and many indications of real spiritual growth. But there are some practical areas to which we have all paid insufficient attention. One of these is the terrible human tendency to repeat rumour, to draw unsupported conclusions, and to get disaffected with others until we imagine untrue things about them which we then state to others. I am not innocent in this area. And neither are any of us (not that this fact in any way comforts me). Let's not pretend that any of us don't gossip. And let's admit that our ears <em>love</em> to hear gossip. &quot; The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's innermost parts&quot; (Prov. 18:8 NIV), i.e. we dwell on what we hear very deeply. This is one reason to interrupt a gossiping brother or sister before they go further; for the words of gossip will go deep down within us, and we will ruminate on them. <em>Gossip in the church is, sadly, becoming a real sin amongst us</em>. If a community becomes full of gossip, allegation and counter-claims, very soon we will destroy ourselves. </p> <p>As gossip in the church spreads, it becomes distorted, sometimes horrendously. The result is that when the victim hears it, they inevitably become angry, and often feel that they cannot associate with their brethren and sisters if such things are thought about them. They are ashamed, angry because what was said was untrue, and they are tempted to become vindictive against those whom they hold to be responsible. In extreme cases, this can lead to resignation from the community. An offended brother is harder to be won back than a fortified city (Prov. 18:19). Over the past year as you read this, <em>this will have&nbsp; happened</em>. But often the result is simply a decreased enthusiasm to attend the meetings, to break close contact with the brethren and sisters who ought to be our true friends. This results in a community which is cold and untrusting of each other, with every one of us internalizing our struggles, appearing righteous on the surface but never opening our hearts. <em>And this also is happening amongst us</em>. For all concerned, the process of gossip and counter-claiming all saps real spirituality out of us. We have enough wonderful things to contemplate: the supremacy of the love of Christ, far above our human knowledge; the sublime intricacy of God's word and character; the fulfilment of prophecy; the wonder of our Hope. These things ought to fill our thinking- and our conversation with each other. If they don't, and gossip in the church becomes the main diet of our conversation, <em>something is very seriously wrong with us</em>. We only have a few years <em>at most</em> (probably far less) to sort ourselves out before we will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. We need to be using every moment.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-4-1Gossip_In_The_Church.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-4-1Gossip_In_The_Church.htm</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Phi 1, 2 </p> <p>The early church are held up as our example in Phil. 1:27: " Stand fast in <em>one spirit, with one mind </em>striving together for the faith of the Gospel" . Doesn't that sound just like an allusion to the early ecclesia? Now go on to 2:2: " Be likeminded, having the same love, being <em>of one accord</em>, of one mind" . There's that phrase " one accord" again. It's hardly used outside the Acts, so we should read that like a signpost, saying 'Go back to the Acts!'. So Paul is saying: 'You believers must always remember the great spirit of " one accord" in the early ecclesia in Jerusalem. Let the early church be your example!'. And if you look closely, you'll see a number of other allusions back to the early chapters of Acts. For example, v.4: " Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others" . Twice we read there in Acts of disregarding our own " things" . Paul definitely has his eye on Acts 4:32: " The multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul (just as Paul spoke about in Phil.2:2): neither said any of them that ought of the things which he possessed was his own (cp. " his own things" in Phil.2:4); but they had all things common" . And then in v.3 Paul warns against doing things " through vainglory" . Doesn't that sound like an allusion to Ananias and Sapphira? Then he warns them in v.14 " Do all things without murmurings and disputings" . It can't be coincidental that in Acts 6:1,9 we read twice about there being murmurings and disputings in the early ecclesia.  Phil. 2 describes the exaltation of Christ on his resurrection. It seems no accident that this is then described in the very words which the apostles so often used in their preaching in the early chapters of Acts. Thus in v.9, " God hath highly exalted him" is a reference to Peter s words: " Being by the right hand of God exalted ...him hath God exalted" (Acts 2:33; 5:33). The whole theme in Phil.2 is of Christ suffering on the cross and then being exalted by the Father, and given the mighty Name. The very same language is used so often in Acts (2:9-11=Acts 2:36; 2:10= Acts 4:10; 3:6,16).  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-1-2Early_Church_Our_Example.htm</p> <p><br> April 9</p> <p>Num. 27</p> <p>Joshua is to be seen as really our example. Num.. 27:20 LXX says that Moses put or gave of his glory upon Joshua- and this passage is alluded to by the Lord in Jn. 17:22:  The glory which thou hast given me I have given unto them . Note that the Lord s prayer of John 17 is full of allusion to Moses, as detailed in http://www.carelinks.net/books/dh/bl/4-4Moses_As_A_Type_Of_Christ.htm. So the disciples, indeed all those for whom the Lord prayed in His prayer, are to see themselves as Joshua. Further, in the same context, the Lord washed the disciples feet. This would ve been understood by the disciples as an allusion to a well known Jewish legend that in Num.. 27:15-23, Moses acted as a servant to Joshua by preparing a basin of water and washing Joshua s feet(1). And the LXX of Moses final charge to Joshua in Dt. 31:7,8 [ fear not, neither be dismayed ] is quoted by the Lord to His disciples in Jn. 14:1,27.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-9-4Joshua_Our_Example.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-9-4Joshua_Our_Example.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 19 </p> <p>Being generous to the poor is likened by Prov. 19:17 to lending to the Lord; and He will repay that 'debt'. There are countless ways in which God's word could tell us that what we give to the poor, we will somehow receive back from God. But God chooses to use this figure- thus indicating His own solidarity with the very lowest of society, and how God feels in the debt of those who are for them. It's of course only a figure, but God surely shows His humility by using it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/6-5The_Humility_Of_God.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/6-5The_Humility_Of_God.htm</a></p> <p>Phi 3, 4 </p> <p>Our reward in the Kingdom will in some way be related to the work of upbuilding we have done with our brethren and sisters in this life. The " reward" which 1 Cor. 3:14 speaks of is the " work" we have built in God's ecclesia in this life. In agreement with this, Paul describes those he had laboured for as the reward he would receive in the Kingdom (Phil. 4:1; 1 Thess. 2:19). Relationships in the Kingdom of God were to be his reward. This not only demonstrates the impossibility of attaining the " reward" if we ignore the brotherhood; it also shows that the Kingdom will mean something different for each of us; the " reward" we will be given will be a reflection of our own personal labours for our brethren in ecclesial life.  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-1-2Relationships_In_The_Kingdom_Of_God.htm </p> <p><br> April 10</p> <p>Num. 28</p> <p>The idea of a mutuality between God and man is quite a theme in the Bible. The sacrifices, offered on the altar as the table of Yahweh, were the bread of God (Num.. 28:2), offered at the same times [morning and evening] as God fed His people. He feeds us, and beyond our understanding our sacrifices can give something to God, we can touch His heart, and thereby  feed Him. This idea is brought out in Ez. 16:19:  My meat [food] also which I gave thee, fine flour, and oil, and honey, wherewith I fed thee&  . The flour, oil etc. were the things Israel were to offer in sacrifice to God- the food with which they were to feed Him. Yet, Ezekiel goes on, they had offered them in sacrifice [ fed them] to idols. Yet those very things were fed to Israel by God. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-1-3Mutuality_Between_God_And_Man.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-1-3Mutuality_Between_God_And_Man.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 20 </p> <p> The spirit of man is the candle of the Lord, searching all the inward parts&quot; (Prov. 20:27); our self-examination is what reveals us to the Lord. What we think about at the memorial meeting, as we are faced with the memory of the crucified Saviour, is therefore an epitome of what we really are. If all we are thinking of is the taste of the wine, the cover over the bread, the music, what we didn t agree with in the exhortation, all the external things of our Christianity; or if we are sitting there taking bread and wine as a conscience salver, doing our little religious ritual to make us feel psychologically safe- then we simply don t know Him. We are surface level believers only. And this is the message we give Him. Our spirit / attitude is the candle of the Lord, with which He searches us. Our thoughts when confronted by the cross reveal us to Him who died on it. Likewise Joseph (one of the most detailed types of the Lord) knew / discerned his brethren by his cup (Gen. 44:5).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/14.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/14.htm</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Joh 1 </p> <p>John describes himself as resting on Jesus bosom (Jn. 13:23); yet he writes that Jesus is now in the Father s bosom (Jn. 1:18). He is saying that he has the same kind of intimate relationship with the Lord Jesus as Jesus has with the Father. Yet John also records how the Lord Jesus repeatedly stressed that the intimacy between Him and the Father was to be shared with all His followers. So John is consciously holding up his own relationship with the Lord Jesus as an example for all others to experience and follow. Yet John also underlines his own slowness to understand the Lord. Without any pride or self-presentation, he is inviting others to share the wonderful relationship with the Father and Son which he himself had been blessed with.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/4Preaching_And_Humility.htm </p> <p><br> April 11</p> <p>Num. 29, 30 </p> <p>The Son of Man is given authority and power over all so that people of all nations, races and languages should serve Him. We must remind ourselves that out of the 5,000 or so languages in the world, the vast majority have no true Christian representatives; and only about half of them have the Bible in their own language. And as of the year 2000, only 12% of the world have English as a first or second language; yet the majority of those holding true Bible teaching, so far as we know, are English speaking. If, as indeed we believe, we alone preach the True Gospel...then we have a long way to go in fulfilling this. Either that, or the scope of God s acceptance of men from all these languages and nations over time and over space today is far wider than we as a community have thought. Both of these possible conclusions arise from meditation upon the fact that the authority of the Lord must be extended over every nation and language group. Both of them are intensely challenging to our community. Rev. 5:9 presents us with the picture of men and women redeemed from every kindred [tribe / clan], tongue [glossa- language], people [a group of people not necessarily of the same ethnicity] and nation [ethnos- ethnic group, lit.  those of the same customs ]. This means that not only redeemed  Yugoslavs will stand before the throne in the end; but Macedonians, Serbs, Croats, Slovenes, Montenegrans, Bosnians...every ethnic group, with every custom, will have representatives who will have believed the Truth and been saved. This idea is confirmed by considering how 70 bullocks had to be sacrificed at the feast of ingathering (Num.. 29), prophetic as it was of the final ingathering of the redeemed. But 70 is the number of all Gentile nations found in Gen. 10. And it is written:  When he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel (Dt. 32:8). A total of 70 went down with Jacob into Egypt; and thus 70 seems an appropriate number to connect with the entire Gentile world. And representatives of all of them will be finally ingathered.</p> <p>It seems highly doubtful to me that over the past 2,000 years, the Truth has been taken to every ethnos, tribe, clan, custom and language, especially in Africa and Asia. So it follows that only once we have done it in our generation will this come true. The brethren in those parts especially have work to do yet, it seems to me. And we should all support them as best we can. I have a real belief that given the current rate of progress in preaching, the current generation could witness literally world-wide representation by those who understand true Christian doctrine- if we all do our bit. It is very difficult for me to reproduce in writing the kind of picture I have in my mind. But it is a thrilling and all consuming, all-demanding vision.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/5-2great_commission.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/5-2great_commission.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 21 </p> <p>God s judgment is a learning process for the observers:  When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise (Prov. 21:11). We are to do this in this life; and it s also going to happen in the day of judgment. Indeed it could be that this is the main reason for it- for the whole outcome and judgment process is known to God before judgment day.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/2.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/2.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 2, 3 </p> <p>As the Lord was the light of those that sat in darkness (Mt. 4:16), so Paul writes as if all the believers are likewise (Rom. 2:19). The light of Christ lightens every man who is born into the spiritual world (Jn. 3:9), with the inevitable effect that he too becomes the light of the world for others (Mt. 5:14). John  was not the light in the sense that he was not Jesus personally (Jn. 1:8 RV); but he was in another sense  a burning and shining light (Jn. 5:35) in that he like us was  the light of the world on account of his connection with Jesus. The Son was  sanctified and sent into the world (Jn. 10:36). And yet we too are sanctified (Jn. 17:17,19), and likewise sent into the world (Mk. 16:15). As the Lord was sent into the whole world, so are we (Jn. 17:18). So let's shine as lights of Him this very day!</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-3paul_preaching_christ.htm</p> <p> <br> April 12</p> <p>Num. 31</p> <p>God makes concessions to human weakness. Having reminded Israel of how they sinned with the Midianites, He allows them to keep unmarried Midianites as wives (Num.. 31:16,18). We need to not only take comfort from this but do the same in our judgment of others' situations.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/6-3Bible_Paradoxes.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/6-3Bible_Paradoxes.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 22 </p> <p>Solomon could write of the folly of the ruler who oppressed the poor (Prov. 22:16)- and yet do just that very thing. The Proverbs so frequently refer to the dangers of the house of the Gentile woman; yet the Song of Solomon shows the Egyptian girl dearly wishing that Solomon would come with her into her house. And&nbsp; Solomon,&nbsp; just&nbsp; like&nbsp; the foolish young man he wrote about, went right ahead down the road to spiritual disaster he so often warned others about. There s something deeply perverse within us, with which we battle each day.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-2The_Song_Of_Solomon.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-2The_Song_Of_Solomon.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 4 </p> <p>The Lord likened His preachers to men reaping a harvest. He speaks of how they fulfilled the proverb that one sows and another reaps (Jn. 4:37,38). Yet this  proverb has no direct Biblical source. What we <em>do </em>find in the Old Testament is the repeated idea that if someone sows but another reaps, this is a sign that they are suffering God s judgment for their sins (Dt. 20:6; 28:30; Job 31:8; Mic. 6:15). But the Lord turns around the  proverb concerning Israel s condemnation; He makes it apply to the way that the preacher / reaper who doesn t sow is the one who harvests others in converting them to Him. Surely His implication was that His preacher-reapers were those who had known condemnation for their sins, but on that basis were His humbled harvesters in the mission field. Let this be the basis of your witness today.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/4Preaching_And_Humility.htm </p> <p><br> April 13</p> <p>Num. 32</p> <p>Consider God s statement that the whole people of Israel would have been left in the wilderness and now allowed to enter the land, if Gad and Reuben refused to cross the Jordan river (Num.. 32:15). But this would have broken the Divine promise of Num.. 14:31 that all those under 20 would enter the land. Even that promise, therefore, had unstated conditions attached to it. And yet God had yet another option- if they refused to go over Jordan, then they would forfeit their land and receive a different inheritance (Num.. 32:30). The complexities of these conditions are of course beyond us, because we are seeing only a part of the working of God s infinite mind. The point is, there are conditions attached to God s promises which aren t always made apparent to us. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-2-1Conditional_Prophecy.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-2-1Conditional_Prophecy.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 23 </p> <p>There s no doubt that the Gospel must be a way of life, not certain actions like prayer, attendance of meetings and the breaking of bread which we religiously perform at certain times. God essentially seeks <em>the heart</em>, the unshareable self, to be given to Him:  my son, give me thine heart (Prov. 23:26). The word  spirit is used in different senses in different contexts. It can mean the thinking and consciousness, and yet also  power . Yet these things are linked, in that as a man thinks and feels and desires in his heart, so he is (Prov. 23:7). Our physical actions, the way we uses our  power , are a reflection of our inner spirit. Likewise, the Spirit of God is <em>God in action</em>, God showing His power, and yet in its expression it articulates the inner mind and characteristics of God.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-15A_Way_Of_Life.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-15A_Way_Of_Life.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 5 </p> <p>Even in His life, the Father committed all judgment unto the Son (Jn. 5:22). The Lord can therefore talk in some arresting present tenses: "Verily, verily, I say unto you [as judge], He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation". According to our response to His word, so we have now our judgment. He goes on to speak of how the believer will again hear His voice, at His return: "The hour is coming, and [also] now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live". Our response to His word now is a mirror of our response to His word then. Hence the hour is yet future, and yet now is. 'The Son right now has the authority to execute judgment on the basis of response to His word. He will do this at the last day; and yet even as He spoke, He judged as He heard' [paraphrase of Jn. 5:27-30]. Because He <em>is </em>the Son of man, He even then had the power of judgment given to Him (Jn. 5:27). These present tenses would be meaningless unless the Lord was even then exercising His role as judge. When He says that He doesn't judge / condemn men (Jn. 3:17-21), surely He is saying that <em>He</em> won't so much judge men as they will judge themselves by their attitude to Him. His concentration was and is on saving men. The condemnation is that men loved darkness, and prefer the darkness of rejection to the light of Christ. Likewise Jn. 12:47,48: "If any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to [so much as to] judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me...hath one that judgeth him: the word [his response to the word, supplying the ellipsis] that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day".</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment1_3.htm</p> <p><br> April 14</p> <p>Num. 33</p> <p>Mt.1:17 mentions that there were 42 generations before Christ. This must have some connection with the 42 stopping places before Israel reached Canaan, as described in Num..33:2. Thus the birth of Christ would be like God's people entering the promised land of the Kingdom in some way.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/james/james_d04.html">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/james/james_d04.html</a></p> <p>Prov. 24 </p> <p>he book of Proverbs is a good example of spiritual knowledge creating even more. The purpose of the Proverbs is to enable us &quot; to perceive the words of understanding&quot; (1:2); the words of the Proverbs make one more sensitive to other &quot; words of understanding&quot; . If, as has been suggested, Proverbs is a commentary on the Law, then we can see why the book opens by explaining that its purpose is to allow greater perception of other parts of the word. The very experience of wisdom and obedience creates a sweet palate for it, as eating honey does (Prov. 24:13,14 LXX). The man of knowledge  increaseth [Heb.  confirms / adds to ] strength (Prov. 24:5).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-10-1The_Upward_Spiral.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-10-1The_Upward_Spiral.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 6 </p> <p>The very human perspective of the disciples is almost predictably brought out by their response to the Lord s question to them about where to get bread to feed the hungry crowd.  Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient was Philip s response (Jn. 6:7). Andrew s comment that they had five loaves and two fishes surely carried the undertone that  & and that s not even enough for us, let alone them- we re starving too, you know! . The disciples wanted the crowd sent away, to those who sold food, so that they might buy for themselves (Mt. 14:15). As the Lord s extended commentary upon their reactions throughout John 6 indicates, these responses were human and selfish. And yet- and here is a fine insight into His grace and positive thinking about His men- He puts their very words and attitudes into the mouth of the wise virgins at the very moment of their acceptance at the day of judgment:  The wise answered [the foolish virgins] saying, Not so, lest there be not enough [s.w.  not sufficient , Jn. 6:7] for us and you; but got ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves (Mt. 25:9). Clearly the Lord framed that parable in the very words, terms and attitudes of His selfish disciples. He counted even their weakness as positive, and thus showed His desire to accept them in the last day in spite of it. Another reading of the connection would be that the Lord foresaw how even in the final moment of acceptance into His Kingdom, right on the very eve of judgment day, His people would still be as hopelessly limited in outlook and spiritually self-centred as the disciples were that day with the multitude. Whatever way we want to read this undoubted connection of ideas, we have a window into a grace so amazing it almost literally takes our breath away.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/15-7Disciples_And_Imputed_Righteousness.htm</p> <p><br> April 15</p> <p>Num. 34&nbsp; </p> <p>The borders of the promised land appear to change between the various passages which delimit them. The borders here are certainly not the borders of the land promised to Abraham. In this we see how God is willing to change the details of His purpose with us, but above all He wishes to keep working with us- even if like Israel we fail to rise up to the ideal intentions He has for us. They were too weak in faith to inherit all the land promised to Abraham- but still God worked with them and redefined the borders accordingly.</p> <p>Prov. 25 </p> <p>Although God joins together man and wife, He allows His work to be undone in that He concedes to separation, even when there has been no adultery (1 Cor. 7:11). Prov. 21:9; 25:24 almost seem to encourage it, by saying that it is better for a spiritual man to dwell in a corner of the housetop than to share a house in common (LKK <em>koinos</em>) with his contentious wife. The same word occurs in Mal. 2:14 LXX in describing a man s wife as his  companion (<em>koinonos</em>). Thus God is willing to make concessions, to let principles conflict in order to elicit from us true self-examination and rightly motivated behaviour. And this should lead us to a grace-filled attitude to others.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-7-3Biblical_Ideal_Of_Marriage.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-7-3Biblical_Ideal_Of_Marriage.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 7 </p> <p>Jn. 7:38: " He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly (" innermost being" , NIV) shall flow rivers of living (Gk. spring) water" . What " scripture" did the Lord have in mind? Surely Ez. 47:1,9, the prophecy of how in the Millennium, rivers of spring water will come out from Zion and bring life to the world; and perhaps too the references to spring water being used to cleanse men from leprosy and death (Lev. 14:5; 15:13; Num. 19:16). Out of the innermost being of the true believer, the spring(ing) water of the Gospel will <em> naturally</em> spring up and go out to heal men, both now and more fully in the Kingdom, aided then by the Spirit gifts. The believer, <em>every</em>  believer, <em>whoever</em>  believes, will preach the word to others <em>from his innermost being</em>, both now and in the Kingdom - without the need for preaching committees or special efforts (not that in themselves I'm decrying them). The tendency is to delegate our responsibilities to these committees. There is no essential difference between faith and works. If we believe, we will do the works of witness, quite spontaneously. And note how the water that sprung out of the Lord s smitten side is to be compared with the bride that came out of the smitten side of Adam. We, the bride, are the water; thanks to the inspiration of the cross, we go forth in witness, the water of life to this hard land in which we walk.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/1-2making_disciples.htm</p> <p><br> April 16</p> <p>Num. 35 </p> <p>We died and rose with Christ, if we truly believe in His representation of us and our connection with Him, then His freedom from sin and sense of conquest will be ours; as the man guilty of blood was to see in the death of the High Priest a representation of his own necessary death, and thereafter was freed from the limitations of the city of refuge (Num.. 35:32,33). So the challenge comes down to us today- to live life feeling and living out our identity with the Lord Jesus.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-31Freedom_From_Sin.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-31Freedom_From_Sin.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 26 </p> <p>Prov. 26:10 makes a link between God as creator, and God as judge:  The great God that formed all things both rewardeth the fool, and rewardeth transgressors . The very fact that God formed us means that we are accountable to His judgment. We can never, not for a nanosecond, avoid or opt out of the fact that we were created by God. And therefore and thereby, we are responsible to Him as our judge. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-3God_As_Creator.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-3God_As_Creator.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 8 </p> <p>It seems reasonable to conclude that Isaac was offered on or near the hill of Calvary, one of the hills (Heb.) near Jerusalem, in the ancient  land of Moriah" (cp. 2 Chron. 3:1). The name given to the place, Yahweh-Yireh, means  in this mount I have seen Yahweh . The events of the death and resurrection of the Lord which Isaac s experience pointed forward to were therefore the prophesied  seeing of Yahweh. When Abraham  <em>saw</em> the place [of Isaac s intended sacrifice] afar off" (Gen. 22:4), there is more to those words than a literal description. Heb. 11:13 alludes here in saying that Abraham <em>saw</em> the fulfilment of  the promises"  afar off". The Lord in Jn. 8:56 says that Abraham <em>saw</em> His day or time [usually a reference to His sacrifice]. And yet that place of offering was called by Abraham  Jehovah Jireh ,  Jehovah will be <em>seen</em> . Note the theme of <em>seeing</em>. In some shadowy way, Abraham understood something of the future sacrifice of the Lord Jesus; and yet he speaks of it as the time when Yahweh Himself will be  seen , so intense would the manifestation of God be in the death of His Son.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/4God_Manifestation_Cross.htm</p> <p><br> April 17</p> <p>Num. 36 </p> <p>If we deny our covenant with God by marrying into the world, we have effectively cut ourselves off from Him. The command for widows to marry &quot; whom she will; only in the Lord&quot; (1 Cor. 7:39) is alluding back to the command to Zelophehad's daughters to marry &quot; whom they think best&quot; , but only &quot; in&quot; their tribe, otherwise they would lose the inheritance (Num.. 36:6,7). The implication is that those who do not marry &quot; in the Lord&quot; will likewise lose their promised inheritance. And this rather strange allusion indicates one more thing: the extent of the seriousness of marriage out of the Faith is only evident to those who search Scripture deeply. As man and woman within Israel were joint heirs of the inheritance, so man and wife are joint heirs of the inheritance of the Kingdom (1 Pet. 3:7). </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-9Marriage_Out_Of_The_Faith.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-9Marriage_Out_Of_The_Faith.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 27 </p> <p>Sin never satisfies.  Hell and destruction are never satisfied, and the eyes of man are never satisfied (Prov. 27:20 RV), Solomon wrote in his youth; and then in old age, he came to basically the same conclusion, having spent his life working back to the truth that he had been taught in his youth (Ecc. 1:8; 4:8). And there are many men and women who have done the same. We all tend to be empirical learners; and yet this is the great power of God s word, that through it we need not have to learn everything through our failures; but we can receive His Truth, trust it, and simply live by it. Otherwise we shall be like Solomon& &nbsp;</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-4Sin_Never_Satisfies.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-4Sin_Never_Satisfies.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 9, 10 </p> <p>We too are lights in the dark world (Mt. 5:14; Phil. 2:15), because we are in Christ, <em>the</em> light of the world (Jn. 9:5). Notice how in the preceding verse, Jesus said spoke of how  I must work the works of him that sent me (Jn. 9:4 AV), yet the RV reflects the manuscript difficulties by giving  <em>We</em> must work . Could it be that the Lord said:  I must work, we [you in me] must work ? The Lord Jesus was the light of the world on account of His resurrection:  He first by the resurrection from the dead should proclaim light both to the [Jewish] people and to the Gentiles (Acts 26:23 RV). If we are baptized into His death and resurrection, we too are the light of this world in that the light of His life breaks forth in us. And this is exactly why belief in His resurrection is an imperative to preach it. And it s why the great commission flows straight out of the resurrection narrative.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-3paul_preaching_christ.htm </p> <p><br> April 18</p> <p>Dt. 1</p> <p>Joshua didn t give the people rest (Heb. 4:8); but he said he had (Josh. 22:4). He failed to fulfil the potential of Josh. 1:13-15- that <em>he</em> would lead the people to  rest . The Messianic Kingdom could, perhaps, have come through Joshua-Jesus; but both Joshua and Israel would not. Dt. 1:38 states clearly that  Joshua& he shall cause Israel to inherit [s.w. possess] the land. Yet by the end of Joshua s life, Israel were not inheriting the land in totality. He didn t live up to his potential. Note, in passing, that God s prophecy here was conditional, although no condition is actually stated at the time. God s opening commission to Joshua was that the people were to possess the whole land promised to Abraham, right up</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-10Joshua_Potential_Messiah.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-10Joshua_Potential_Messiah.htm</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prov. 28</p> <p class=MsoNormal>&quot; He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy&quot; (Prov. 28:13) cannot mean that God will not fellowship us unless we forsake every single sin we commit. We have given ample evidence for that earlier. And neither does this verse address the issues of whether <i>we</i> ought to forgive those who have not fully forsaken their sins, or whether we can fellowship those whom we have not forgiven. This verse speaks about God's response to confession of sin.&nbsp; </p> <p class=MsoNormal>It may well be that Prov. 28:13 is the Old Testament equivalent of Paul's plea not to continue in sin, that grace may abound. If we &quot; continue in sin&quot; we are evidently not 'forsaking' our sins. We have shown that some sins cannot be 'forsaken', and that all of us continually sin, confess and commit the same sin again. 'Forsaking' therefore does not refer to never committing the sin again. If our brother sins 490 times a day and confesses his sin, we are to forgive him- accepting that he has 'forsaken' the sin each time he confesses it. It is therefore difficult for <i>us</i> to say that a brother has not forsaken his sin if he confesses it. In the case of the brother who sins against us 490 times a day, his 'confessions' to us have to be treated by us as 'forsakings'. How <i>God</i> looks upon such a brother's continual sinning is not relevant to how <i>we</i> are supposed to respond to him. Therefore <i>for us</i>, 'forsaking' is to be understood as almost a synonym for 'confessing'.&nbsp; </p> <p class=MsoNormal>Many verses in Proverbs allude to incidents in Israel's history. Prov. 28:13 clearly refers to David's confession of sin regarding Bathsheba: &quot; I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and Thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin&quot; (Ps. 32:5)- after a period of trying to 'cover' his sin. The emphasis on confession rather than any undertaking not to lust after women again suggests that 'confession' and 'forsaking' in Prov.&nbsp; 28:13 can be seen&nbsp; as synonymous.&nbsp; </p> <p class=MsoNormal>The first part of Prov. 28:13 surely refers to Adam covering his sins in Eden, and the second half to his situation after confession. He did not 'forsake' disobedience to God's word, or giving in to the lust of the eyes and flesh. Likewise, David continued sinning after the Bathsheba incident, but Prov. 28:13 describes him, like Adam, as having 'confessed-and-forsaken'. He could not 'forsake' the specific sin with Bathsheba; but he had done so mentally, and God counts this as forsaking. There must be many Christadelphians, not to mention those who have married out of the Faith, who have <i>mentally</i> forsaken their sins of the past, and have truly confessed their sins; yet they find it impossible to rectify their position in outward terms.</p> <p class=MsoNormal>Another feature of the Proverbs is their frequent allusion to the Mosaic law. The Hebrew for &quot; forsaketh&quot; literally means 'to let go', and a related word is used concerning the scapegoat being 'let go' into the wilderness, bearing Israel's sins which had been <i>confessed</i> over it. This is a reference to the day of Atonement. &quot; He that covereth (atones for) his (own) sins (by himself) shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth (them over the scapegoat) and (lets them go) shall have mercy&quot; . Thus the reader is encouraged to really believe that his confessed sins were being 'let go' in the scapegoat. This was the way to atonement, rather than trying to cover over one's sins as if they had never happened.<b>&nbsp; </b></p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-3-7Works_Meet_For_Repentance.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-3-7Works_Meet_For_Repentance.htm</a> </p> <p>Joh 11 </p> <p>Lazarus had died, and the evident desire of Martha was to see her brother again, there and then. But she didn't go running to the Lord with this desire. She simply and briefly stated her faith in the Lord's limitless power to resurrect, and her knowledge that He could use the Father's power as He wished. He read her spirit, He saw her fervent desire. And He responded to this as if it had been a prayer. He groaned deeply within Himself, and wept- not the tears of grief, as the Jews mistakenly thought (note how throughout the record they misunderstand what is really going on), but the tears which go with the groaning of serious prayer (Jn. 11:33-39). Having done this, He comments: " Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me. And I knew that thou hearest me <em>always</em>" . Because His spirit, His mind, was in constant contact with the Father, His prayers / desires were always communicated to Him, and always being heard. " Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me" could almost imply that the Lord prayed for something, and then, after some interval, the answer came. We have an exquisite insight into the Lord's mind and the highly personal relationship between Father and Son in the words that follow: " I knew (not 'I know') that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe" . This almost certainly was not spoken out loud; this is a very rare and privileged glimpse into the unspoken communication between the Son and Father. The Lord seems to be adding this almost in half apology, lest it should seem that He prayed for Lazarus' resurrection, the answer came, and He then thanked the Father for it. It seems that this would be too primitive a sequence of events. He says that He <em>knew</em> that His request had been granted, and His utterance of thanks for the answer was for the peoples' benefit: that <em>they</em> might perceive that whatever the Son asked for, He received from God. But in reality, the Lord's thoughts to the Father seem to suggest, it wasn't a question of His prayers being accepted and answered. His Spirit, His thoughts, were one with the Father, and therefore it was not that His thoughts were considered, accepted and then God granted the request. What He thought was the prayer and it was the answer all in one. His 'mediation' for us is in the sense that He is the Lord <em>the Spirit</em>. There is no barrier (and was not any) between His mind and that of the Father.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pr/6The_Mediation_Of_Prayer.htm</p> <p><br> April 19</p> <p>Dt. 2</p> <p>There is a harder side of God, the side we'd rather not see. God almost seems to underline the hardness of it in the way He records His word; thus He emphasizes that the &quot; little ones&quot; of the Canaanite cities were to be killed by the sword (Dt. 2:34), the male babies of the Midianites were to be killed by God's command (Num.. 31:17; which was exactly what Herod ordered). The unfulfilled believer will accept the gracious side of God (which is undoubtedly the aspect more emphasized in the Bible), but refuse to really accept this other side, while passively admitting that this harder aspect of God is revealed in His word. But it's all or nothing. We either accept the self-revelation of God in the Bible, or we reject it- that's how <em>He</em> sees it. Our temptation is to think that God sees things as we see them, to think that God is merely an ideal human being. But the day of judgment will reveal otherwise (Ps. 50:21). He is God, not man. It is not for us to set the terms. As the Lord taught in His parable of the approaching army, it's either total, abject surrender before the King of Heaven, accepting <em>whatever</em> terms He asks, or a foolhardy attempt to meet Him in head on confrontation (Lk. 14:31). Those who challenge the harder side of God are often called 'brave'; but their 'bravery' is foolhardy rebellion against the sovereign Almighty.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-8-3Unfulfilled_Believer_Syndrome.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-8-3Unfulfilled_Believer_Syndrome.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 29 </p> <p>We know that the Proverbs are inspired by God, but all the same it is possible there to see Solomon s essential self-justification coming through- for so much of what he says and writes he surely thought of with reference to himself. His proverbs were in a sense his preaching and teaching to others- and yet as we can do so easily, he mixed this preaching with self-justification, a desire to prove himself to be right in the eyes of others. Many of us spent far too much of our preaching energy with this subconscious agenda.&nbsp; </p> <p> When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice (Prov. 29:2) surely refers to the way the people rejoiced at Solomon s ascension to power (2 Chron. 9:7).&nbsp;</p> <p> The righteous considereth the cause of the poor (Prov. 29:7) sounds like a reference to the way Solomon judged the two prostitutes.</p> <p>Likewise Prov. 29:14:  The king that faithfully judgeth the poor, his throne shall be established for ever . Solomon is clearly referring to the promises to David, which he assumed were about him. He thought that because he had judged the poor harlots wisely, therefore he would be the promised Messiah.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-3Solomons_Self_Justification.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-3Solomons_Self_Justification.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 12 </p> <p>Rom. 10;9,10 stresses that belief <em>and </em>confession are necessary for salvation. This may be one of the many links between Romans and John s gospel, in that Jn. 12:42 speaks of those who believed but wouldn t confess. Confession, a public showing forth of our belief, is vital if we are to be saved. It s perhaps worth noting that baptisms tend often to be attended largely by believerss, and be performed indoors, e.g. in a bath at someone s home, or a church hall. It s quite possible to learn the Gospel, be baptized- and nobody out in this world ever know. It s down to us to ensure this isn t true in our case.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/1-2making_disciples.htm </p> <p><br> April 20</p> <p>Dt. 3</p> <p><span lang=EN-GB style='font-family:"Tahoma","sans-serif"'>Moses had told the Reubenites and Gadites that they could return to their possessions when  the Lord have given rest unto your brethren, and they also possess the land (Dt. 3:20). But Joshua tells them to go to their possessions simply because their brethren were now at  rest (Josh. 22:4). He significantly omits the proviso that their brethren must also possess the land- because much of the land wasn' t possessed. Was this Joshua getting slack, thinking that the main thing was that people were living in peace, even though they weren' t possessing the Kingdom? Or is it a loving concession to human weakness? Indeed, the conditions of Dt. 3:20 were in their turn an easier form, a concession to, the terms of the initial agreement in Num.. 32:20-32. God is eager to make concessions to our weakness, as He so wishes to save us. But this should inspire us to a closer walk with Him rather than a slacker one.</span></p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-9-1Events_In_The_Life_Of_Joshua.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-9-1Events_In_The_Life_Of_Joshua.htm</a></p> <p>Prov. 30 </p> <p>The sensitivity of God to pagan sin, whether or not He raises them to account at the last day, is far higher than we would think. He even notices &quot; the <em>eye</em> that mocketh at his father&quot; (Prov. 30:17); even body language is analyzed by Him, as are our unconscious thoughts as we sleep (Ps. 17:3). And His sensitivity to our failures, as those responsible to Him, is even greater.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-9Sin_Is_Serious.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-9Sin_Is_Serious.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 13, 14 </p> <p>Because Jesus is Lord and Master, and because He is our representative in every way, therefore all that He did and was becomes an imperative for us to follow. Thus:  If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another s feet" (Jn. 13:13,14). They called Him  Lord and Master", but <em>wouldn t</em> wash each other s feet. Like us so often, they had the right doctrinal knowledge, but it meant nothing to them in practice. To know Him as Lord is to wash each others feet, naked but for a loincloth, with all the subtle anticipations of the cross which there are in this incident.  Wherefore [because of the exaltation of Jesus] [be obedient and] work out your own salvation with fear and trembling [i.e. in humility]" (Phil. 2:12).</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/6.htm </p> <p><br> April 21</p> <p>Dt. 4</p> <p>Moses pleaded with Israel to &quot; take heed to thyself&quot; that they kept God's word and taught it to their children, so that they would enter the land (Dt. 4:1,9). These words are alluded to by Paul in 1 Tim.4:16, where he says that attention to the doctrine of the new covenant will likewise save us and those who hear us. Paul very often quotes the words of Moses; Moses was his hero. Who are <i>our</i> Biblical heroes? Do <i>we</i> quote their words back to ourselves in daily life?</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-1-3Moses_And_Paul.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-1-3Moses_And_Paul.htm</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Prov. 31 </p> <p class=MsoNormal>Prov. 31&nbsp; was&nbsp; written&nbsp; by&nbsp; Bathsheba&nbsp; as advice to her son Lemuel (Solomon). In it she seems to be rebuking Solomon for his ways:&nbsp; &quot; What, my son? and what, the son of my womb? Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to them that destroy kings (i.e. women and adultery;&nbsp; surely this was said with a sideways glance at her own relationship with David)&quot; (Prov. 31:3 RVmg). While Solomon was still&nbsp; quite&nbsp; young,&nbsp; i.e. within the lifetime of Bathsheba, she rebuked&nbsp; him&nbsp; for&nbsp; his&nbsp; wayward&nbsp; tendencies.&nbsp; Prov. 31 goes on to describe the ideal wife for Solomon; exactly the opposite of the women&nbsp; Solomon married. We are left to imagine Bathsheba's grief of&nbsp; mind,&nbsp; especially&nbsp; recalling&nbsp; her husband's special pride in Solomon.&nbsp; This was not just a case of protective mother checking out&nbsp; Solomon's&nbsp; girlfriends&nbsp; in a disapproving manner. She knew, through&nbsp; the&nbsp; inspiration&nbsp; of&nbsp; the&nbsp; Spirit&nbsp; as&nbsp; well&nbsp; as her own personal&nbsp; experience, the seriousness of messing with women. And she could see her ever so spiritual son going wrong in this. Her warnings&nbsp; in&nbsp; the&nbsp; same&nbsp; chapter&nbsp; against&nbsp; alcohol were likewise totally&nbsp;&nbsp; disregarded&nbsp;&nbsp; by&nbsp; Solomon&nbsp; in&nbsp; his&nbsp; later&nbsp; search&nbsp; for fulfilment&nbsp; in&nbsp; the&nbsp; flesh&nbsp; (Ecc. 2:3).&nbsp; His&nbsp; alcoholism likewise contradicted his own earlier condemnations of drink as being for the&nbsp; unwise&nbsp; (e.g.&nbsp; Prov. 20:1).&nbsp; Thus by turning to drink he was throwing&nbsp; off&nbsp; his&nbsp; former&nbsp; wisdom, even though his access to it remained&nbsp; with him (Ecc. 2:9; cp. 'But I still believe the Truth, you know'). She pleads with him not to drink&nbsp; lest he  pervert the judgment of any that is afflicted (:5). And yet on his death, the complaints about his hard oppression of the people indicate that he did just this (due to his taking to drink, according to Prov. 31?). And yet Prov. 31 has Solomon praising his mother for her wisdom; he was proud of his mum, and yet he so miserably disobeyed her. He seems to have a mindset in which he felt it was impossible for him to be disobedient. The all important thing for him was who his parents and pedigree were. &nbsp; </p> <p class=MsoNormal>So&nbsp; here&nbsp; was&nbsp; Solomon,&nbsp; brought&nbsp; up&nbsp; in the Truth by parents as devoted&nbsp; to&nbsp; God as could be, yet (one can guess) both outgoing, balanced&nbsp; and&nbsp; with a good sense of fun in family life. Here was Solomon,&nbsp; loving the Truth, deeply appreciating the ways of God, and&nbsp; yet&nbsp; throwing&nbsp; it&nbsp; all away by jut not facing up to his own weakness,&nbsp;&nbsp; not&nbsp;&nbsp; seeing&nbsp;&nbsp; the&nbsp; urgency&nbsp; of&nbsp; his&nbsp; position,&nbsp; the seriousness&nbsp; of sin. Here was Solomon, dead keen on preaching to others,&nbsp; on&nbsp; inspiring&nbsp; Israel to be spiritual, discouraging the youngsters&nbsp; from&nbsp; messing&nbsp; with&nbsp; the&nbsp; girls from the surrounding nations,&nbsp; fulfilling as few others had done God's intention that Israel&nbsp; be a missionary nation, spreading His principles far and wide. &nbsp; </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-3Psalm_45.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-3Psalm_45.htm</a></p> <p>Joh 15, 16 </p> <p>An example of Christ's positivism in the last discourse is to be found in Jn. 15:15, where the Lord says He no longer calls them servants with Him as their Lord, but rather does He see them as friends. He has just reminded them that they call Him Lord, and rightly so, and therefore His washing of their feet was what they must do (Jn. 13:13). Earlier, He had rebuked them for calling Him  Lord but not <em>doing</em> what He said (Lk. 6:46- this is in a speech directed at the disciples- Lk. 6:20,27.40). And yet He told others that His disciples <em>did</em> His word (Lk. 8:21). He was so positive about them to others, even though they did not <em>do</em> the consequences of calling Him Lord [e.g. washing each others feet- instead, they argued who was to be the greatest]. Perhaps when the Lord says that He will no longer relate to them as a Lord, with them as His servants, but rather simply as their friend, He is tacitly recognizing their failure, and preparing Himself to die for them as their friend rather than as their Master. And yet, as the Divine economy worked it all out, it was exactly through that death that they exalted Him as Lord and Master as they should have done previously. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/15-7Disciples_And_Imputed_Righteousness.htm </p> <p><br> April 22</p> <p>Dt. 5</p> <p>The way Moses sees Israel as far more righteous than they were reflects the way the Lord imputes righteousness to us. He says that Israel didn't go near the mountain because they were afraid of the fire (Dt. 5:5), whereas Ex. 19:21-24 teaches that Israel at that time were not so afraid of the fire, and were quite inclined to break through the dividing fence and gaze in unspiritual fascination at a theophany which was beyond them. And Moses was but a dim shadow of the love of Christ for us, with righteousness also imputed to us. And we are to respond by having a generally positive view of others, imputing righteousness to them.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-3-1Themes_Of_Moses_In_Deuteronomy.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-3-1Themes_Of_Moses_In_Deuteronomy.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 1 </p> <p>Solomon forgot that his wisdom was a gift from God; he speaks in Ecc. 1:16 of how  I have gotten me great wisdom (RV). His possession of truth led him to the assumption that this was a reward for his own diligence; whereas it was a gift by grace. Yet he himself knew that the wisdom given <em>by God</em> brings joy, whereas human wisdom leads to the grief and depression which afflicted Solomon (Ecc. 1:18 cp. 2:26). Solomon  'had  the truth', he knew so deeply the true principles of  Yahweh  worship.  But  like  us,  he scarcely considered the enormity  of the gap between the theory he knew and the practice of  it  in  his  own  heart  and living. We too have a tendency to build up masses of Biblical and spiritual knowledge, and to let the mere acquisition of it stop us from practicing it. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-7Solomon_And_Wisdom.htm</p> <p>Joh 17, 18 </p> <p>The purpose of the cross was to gather together in one all God's children (Jn. 11:52), that the love of the Father and Son might be realized between us (Jn. 17:26). If we support division, we are denying the essential aim of the Lord's sacrifice.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-6Christadelphian_Divisions.htm</p> <p><br> April 23</p> <p>Dt. 6, 7</p> <p>Dt. 6:4 is far more than a proof text. Indeed God is one; but consider the context. Moses has set the people up to expect him to deliver them a long list of detailed commands; he has told them that God told him to declare unto them &quot; all the commandments& that they may do them& you shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God has commanded you& you shall walk in all the ways which the Lord your God has commanded you& now these are the commandments& that you might do them& <em>hear therefore O Israel and observe to do it</em> [singular]& &quot; . Now we expect him to reel off a long list of commands. But Moses mirrors that last phrase with simply: &quot; <em>Hear, O Israel</em>, the Lord our God is one&quot; (Dt. 5:31-6:4). And in this context he gives no other commandments. &quot; Observe to do <em>it</em> &quot; is matched with &quot; The Lord our God is one&quot; . This is the quintessence of all the commands of God. And he goes straight on to say: &quot; And these words& shall be in your heart&quot; and they were to talk of them to their children in the house and by the way, bind them upon their hands and on the posts of their homes. It was the unity of God and the imperative from it to love Him with all the heart which is what was to be programmatic for their daily living. This is why it was Jewish practice to recite the <em>shema</em> several times a day, and also on their deathbed. </p> <p>Dt. 6:1 RV reads: &quot; Now this is <em>the commandment</em> [singular], the statutes and the judgments& the Lord our God is one&quot; . And then they are told to write the statutes on their door posts etc. It would have been hard to literally write all 613 of them there. Yet the whole way of life for Israel was epitomized in the single command& that God is one. It was and is a <em>command</em>; not a mere statement. The Jewish zealots who died at Massada had as their battle cry &quot; the Lord our God is one!&quot; , and some time later Rabbi Akiba was flayed alive by the Romans, crying as the skin was stripped from his bones: &quot; The Lord is one; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your might&quot;. And there are many accounts from the Nazi Holocaust of similar things. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bb/dp5.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bb/dp5.htm</a></p> <p>&nbsp;Ecc 2 </p> <p>It would seem from Ecclesiastes that Solomon lost any personal hope even of resurrection, and because of this he wonders why he ever initially had asked for wisdom:  I myself perceived that one event [death] happeneth to them all. Then said I in mine heart, As it happeneth to the fool, so will it happen even to me; and why was I then more wise? (Ecc. 2:14,15 RV).  God giveth to the man that is good in his sight wisdom& this also is vanity (Ecc. 2:26). This is a definite reference back to himself, who was given wisdom. But he now saw it as vanity, seeing there was no personal future hope. What this teaches us is that unless we personally believe we will be in the Kingdom, then all our wisdom is of no value to us personally& .and in the end, we will like Solomon live a life that reflects this.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-2Solomons_Attitude_To_The_Kingdom.htm</p> <p>Joh 19</p> <p>He had a baptism, i.e. a death and resurrection, to be baptized with, and He was " straitened until it be <em>accomplished</em>" (Lk. 12:50), the same word translated " finished" in Jn. 19:30. He agonized throughout His life, looking ahead to that moment of spiritual completion. The more we appreciate this, the more we will be able to enter into His sense of relief: " It is finished / accomplished" . And this too should characterize our lives; ever straining ahead to that distant point when at last we will attain that point of spiritual completeness. </p> <p> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/1-1-13It_Is_Finished.htm</p> <p><br> April 24</p> <p>Dt. 8, 9</p> <p>Dt. 8:2-7 describes God leading Israel through the wilderness for 40 years <em>so that</em> they could then enter the land. 'Israel' here must refer to the under 20s, Joshua, Caleb and the Levites. It was only they who went through the wilderness for 40 years. It was 'Israel' in this sense with whom God was in love. They considered in their heart, that God was treating them as a father does his son (Dt. 8:5). This has a practical significance to it; the under 20s would have been at variance with their natural parents, who knew they were condemned to death in the wilderness, and who refused to take their covenant with God seriously. That young remnant were led to meditate that God was their Heavenly Father; natural relationships that were not based around a true love of God, paled into insignificance as they spiritually matured.&nbsp; Dt. 8:3 says that they learnt to live by every word of God during those 40 years. This is just not true of rebellious Israel generally. But the under 20s, Levites, Joshua and Caleb all developed into keen lovers of the word during that time.&nbsp; They are classic Biblical examples for young people.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-7Biblical_Examples_For_Young_People.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/3-7Biblical_Examples_For_Young_People.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 3 </p> <p>There's reason to think that in some form, every one of our deeds will be considered at the day of judgment. "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked (at the second coming): for there is a time there for <em>every</em> purpose and for <em>every</em> work...for God shall bring <em>every</em> work into judgment, with <em>every</em> secret thing, whether it be good or bad" (Ecc. 3:17; 12:14). Note the emphasis on "<em>every</em>". Having spoken of how there is a <em>time</em> "to plant...pluck up...kill...heal" etc., we are then told that "God shall judge the righteous and the wicked (at the second coming): for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work" (Ecc. 3:1-8,17). Thus our actions in every department of life will be examined at "the place of judgment" (Ecc. 3:16). These verses must be considered in conjunction with those which speak of God's 'forgetting' of bad deeds on account of how people later chose to live. However, this need not mean that they are erased from God's infinite knowledge; all too often we perceive God's memory as a vast memory bank which can have our sins erased from it. But His knowledge knows no such bounds of human perception; yet He is willing not to hold those things against us, and to therefore count us as having never committed them.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment3_4.htm</p> <p>Joh 20, 21 </p> <p>The Jesus who loved little children and wept over Jerusalem's self-righteous religious leaders, so desirous of their salvation, is the One who today mediates our prayers and tomorrow will confront us at judgment day. Perhaps the Lord called the disciples His  brethren straight after His resurrection in order to emphasize that He, the resurrected Man and Son of God, was eager to renew His relationships with those He had known in the flesh. It s as if He didn t want them to think that somehow, everything had changed. Indeed, He stresses to them that their Father is His Father, and their God is His God (Jn. 20:18). He appears to be alluding here to Ruth 1:16 LXX. Here, Ruth is urged to remain behind in Moab [cp. Mary urging Jesus?], but she says she will come with her mother in law, even though she is of a different people, and  Your people shall be my people, and your God my God . This allusion would therefore be saying:  OK I am of a different people to you now, but that doesn t essentially affect our <em>relationship</em>; I so love you, I will always stick with you wherever, and my God is your God . </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/20-19.htm</p> <p><br> April 25</p> <p>Dt. 10, 11</p> <p>Throughout&nbsp; the Law of Moses, the unity of Israel was emphasized. Moses in his last great speech as recorded in Dt.teronomy seems to have purposefully confused his use of  ye [plural] and  thee [singular] in addressing them; as if to show that they, the many, were also one body (e.g. Dt. 10:12-22; 11:1,2).&nbsp;And we each day must be mindful that we re not alone; that we re part of the greater body of Christ.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-6Christadelphian_Divisions.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-6Christadelphian_Divisions.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 4 </p> <p>Absolutely no other goals or achievements can ultimately satisfy us- the accumulation of wealth, sexual experience, power, artistic achievement& .nothing, nothing, nothing, can ultimately fulfil us, apart from the imitation of Christ Jesus our Lord. Solomon is the great Biblical example, concluding at the end that  Then I saw that all toil and all skill in work come from a man s envy of his neighbour [i.e. his living out of a persona dictated by the society around him]. This also is vanity and a striving after wind (Ecc. 4:4).</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/a4-2the_new_life.htm</p> <p>Act 1 </p> <p>It also explains why the record of the Acts is a continuation of all that Jesus <em>began</em> to do and teach as recorded in the Gospels (Acts 1:1). The preachers were witnesses <em>of Jesus</em> (Acts 1:8). The logical objection to their preaching of a risen Jesus of Nazareth was:  But He s dead! We saw His body! Where is He? Show Him to us! . And their response, as ours, was to say:  I am the witness, so is my brother here, and my sister there. We are the witnesses that He is alive. If you see us, you see Him risen and living through us . In this spirit, we beseech men in Christ s stead. Just as the Lord strangely said that His own witness to Himself was a valid part of His overall witness, so our lives are our own witness to the credibility of what we are saying.  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-7preaching_as_christ_did.htm</p> <p><br> April 26</p> <p>Dt. 12</p> <p>Many parts of God s  eternal law were only relevant to the period of time when Israel were in the wilderness. As an example, consider the  eternal law of Lev. 17:5-7, stating that animals could only be slaughtered at the tabernacle. This would ve meant that those who lived a distance from the sanctuary would have had to be vegetarians. Later, Moses amended this law. Dt. 12:20 ff. permitted Israel to slaughter their animals without going through the procedures of Lev. 17. Only the regulations about blood were preserved (Lev. 17:10 cp. Dt. 12:23). God is <i>so</i> eager for relationship with us that He tries so hard to accommodate us; and we should reflect this in our relationships.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/dbb/9-2.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/dbb/9-2.htm</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Ecc 5 </p> <p>There is evidently a hierarchy amongst the Angels as there will be among us in the age to come. It is interesting to see how the Angels relate to each other, and how their actions complement each other in order to bring about the trials of our lives. Once we grasp this idea, we can try to analyse the Angelic action in our lives and imagine all the different parts played by various Angels to bring it about. This system is maybe hinted at in Ecc. 5:8, where the hierarchy of corrupt human rulers and judges is contrasted with the righteous hierarchy of Heaven: "If thou seest the oppression of the poor, and violent perverting of judgement and justice in a province, marvel not at the matter: for He that is higher that the high ones (A. V. "highest" is plural) regardeth; and there be higher than they" (the high ones). Thus:</p> <ul> <li>The Most High One</li> <li>The Higher than the High Ones</li> <li>The High Ones</li> </ul> <p>The "high ones" referring to Angels, it may  be  that the phrase "Most High" also refers sometimes to God manifested through an Angel who is higher than all the others, perhaps foreshadowing Christ, who was also made higher than the Angels. The idea of the Heavenly organization being like a court is often developed in other references to the Angels- e. g. there appear to be accusing and defending Angels who stand around the throne of God and obey His judgements.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/angels/angels4.htm</p> <p>Act 2</p> <p>We are Him to this world. But once someone is converted, they ought to come to see the Lord Jesus for who He is, with David we should be able to say that we see the Lord [and he meant, according to the New Testament, the Lord Jesus] ever before our face, so that we will not be moved by anything (Acts 2:25). And yet if this stage is not gone through, the convert will continue perceiving Jesus as His brothers and sisters, with the result that he or she will think negatively about the Lord for the sake of those who are in Him. The goal of all our preaching cannot be merely baptism. It is the inculcation of a life in Christ, a personal knowing of Him. This is why the first piece of literature I like to give anyone is a <em>Bible Companion</em>daily Bible reading planner. For they must discover it all for themselves, above all.  So, to not give offence we must ever remind ourselves that we are Christ to our brethren. In us they see a reflection of Him.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/19-2not_giving_or_taking_offence.htm</p> <p> <br> April 27</p> <p>Dt. 13, 14</p> <p>The entire promises to Abraham and the fathers depended for their realisation upon human obedience:  If ye hearken to these judgments, and keep, and do them, that the Lord thy God shall keep with thee the covenant and the mercy which he sware unto thy fathers (Dt. 7:12). That covenant was initially given in terms which omitted direct reference to any conditions for fulfilment. But it would be  kept by God if His people  kept His ways. The promises that God would multiply the seed of Abraham were conditional also; <em>if </em>Israel separated themselves from the peoples of the land, <em>then </em>&nbsp;He would  multiply thee, as he hath sworn unto thy fathers (Dt. 13:17). The strength of God s grace also makes some of His promises  conditional in a different sense; thus He had promised Reuben and Manasseh that they could return to their possessions only when the others had possessed the land (Dt. 3:20). This condition never happened- yet they were allowed to return. And our very salvation from death and the consequences of sin is in a sense another example of this kind of thing.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-2-1Conditional_Prophecy.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-2-1Conditional_Prophecy.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 6 </p> <p>Solomon speaks in Ecclesiastes 6 of the tragedy of possessing all things but being unable to enjoy them, because fulfilling one's own natural desires one after another really isn't much of a life. And thus he came to despise the concept of eternal life: " Yea, though he live a thousand years twice told, yet hath he seen no good" (Ecc. 6:6). " A thousand years" was likely a figure for eternity. He conceived of eternal life as being life as we now know it; and he didn't really want to live for ever as he'd fulfilled every natural desire. There's a real warning for us here. If we see the eternity of the Kingdom as a big carrot for us, it may not actually be that motivating for us in the long run of spiritual life. It is the quality and nature of that life which is surely important to us, and not the mere infinity of it. Indeed, eternal life as we now know it would be a curse rather than a blessing. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-2Solomons_Attitude_To_The_Kingdom.htm</p> <p>Act 3, 4 </p> <p>Those who turn from sin are turned from sin by the Lord. The blessing promised to Abraham was not only forgiveness of sins, but that the Lord Jesus would <em>turn away</em> Abraham's seed from their iniquities (Acts 3:26). Yet we only become Abraham's seed by repentance and baptism. Our repentance and desire not to sin is therefore confirmed after our baptism.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-10-1The_Upward_Spiral.htm</p> <p><br> April 28</p> <p>Dt. 15 </p> <p>Having reminded them that if they were obedient,  there shall be no poor among you; for the Lord shall greatly bless thee , Moses goes on to comment that  the poor shall never cease out of the land - and he gives the legislation cognisant of this (Dt. 15:4,11). Moses realized by the time of Deuteronomy that they wouldn t make it to the blessings which were potentially possible. If Moses so knew Israel s weakness, the Lord Jesus knows our weakness even more finely, and deals with it with an even greater grace.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-3-1Themes_Of_Moses_In_Deuteronomy.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-3-1Themes_Of_Moses_In_Deuteronomy.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 7 </p> <p>Solomon had all the instruction  he could wish for; but he didn't allow it to really sink  home  one  little  bit. He  hit  out  on  the search for an ultimately satisfying woman, but out of the 1000 he had he never found one (Ecc. 7:28), even when he sat down and analyzed each of them. And even politically, his marriages with all those Gentile women  didn't  seem  to  achieve him the support he desired from their  home  countries; Egypt gave refuge to Jeroboam, Solomon's main rival (1 Kings 11:40), even though he always acquiesced to his wives and even in his very old age he still didn t destroy the idol temples he built for them (2 Kings 23:13). Sin never satisfies- even in this life.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-4Sin_Never_Satisfies.htm </p> <p>Act 5, 6 </p> <p>Christ's resurrection is an imperative to preach. When Peter is asked why he continues preaching when it is forbidden, he responds by saying that he is obeying God s command, in that Christ had been raised (Acts 5:29-32). There was no specific command from God to witness (although there was from Christ); from the structure of Peter s argument he is surely saying that the fact God raised Christ is <em>de facto </em>a command from God to witness to it which must be obeyed.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/2.htm</p> <p><br> April 29</p> <p>Dt. 16 </p> <p>Passover was intended as a personal looking back to their beginnings, both as a nation and individually . It was to remind them of the day they came out of Egypt, all their lives (Dt. 16:3). This was written in the 40th year of their wanderings, as they were about to enter Canaan. Those who had literally come out of Egypt were largely dead; this verse is a general command to Jews of all generations. So God wanted them to see that in a sense they personally came out of Egypt at that time, even though they were not then born. So with us, while we were yet sinners, before we were born, Christ died for us. On the cross all God's people were as it were taken out of Egypt, in prospect delivered from sin. So we look back to the slain lamb in our feast, to us there in God's plan and delivered from sin, the power of the devil, sin in us destroyed by Christ's death in prospect on that cross. There is so much to personally meditate upon when we break bread.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/7-1passover_and_breaking_of_bread.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/7-1passover_and_breaking_of_bread.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 8 </p> <p>Solomon simply didn t see the relevance of his wisdom to his own personal family life. Yet he proudly insisted:  Who is as the wise man? , as if the possession of theoretical truth and wisdom was the ultimate possession; and he then goes on to say that this made him beyond criticism (Ecc. 8:2-4). This surely <em>must</em> be a danger for any community or individual who considers they have  the truth and who considers the possession of it to be of the utmost importance. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-7Solomon_And_Wisdom.htm</p> <p>Act 7 <br> It is worth trying to visualize the scene when Moses was  full forty years old (Acts 7:23). It would make a fine movie. The Greek phrase could refer to Moses birthday, and one is tempted to speculate that it had been arranged that when Moses was 40, he would become Pharaoh. Heb. 11:24 says that he refused and chose- the Greek tense implying a one off choice- to suffer affliction with God s people. It is tempting to imagine Moses at the ceremony when he should have been declared as Pharaoh, the most powerful man in his world& standing up and saying, to a suddenly hushed audience, voice cracking with shame and stress and yet some sort of proud relief that he was doing the right thing:  I, whom you know in Egyptian as Meses, am Moshe, yes, Moshe the Jew; and I decline to be Pharaoh . Imagine his foster mother s pain and anger. And then in the end, the wonderful honour would have been given to another man, who became Pharaoh. Perhaps he or his son was the one to whom Moses was to come, 40 years later. After a nervous breakdown, stuttering, speaking with a thick accent, clearly having forgotten Egyptian& walking through the mansions of glory, along the corridors of power, to meet that man, to whom he had given the throne 40 years earlier. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-1-2Moses_The_Reproach_Of_Christ.htm </p> <p>April 30</p> <p>Dt. 17 </p> <p>Solomon&nbsp; 'had&nbsp; the truth', he knew so deeply the true principles of&nbsp; Yahweh&nbsp; worship.&nbsp; But&nbsp; like&nbsp; us,&nbsp; he scarcely considered the enormity&nbsp; of the gap between the theory he knew and the practice of&nbsp; it&nbsp; in&nbsp; his&nbsp; own&nbsp; heart&nbsp; and living. We too have a tendency to build up masses of Biblical and spiritual knowledge, and to let the mere acquisition of it stop us from practicing it. He flouted the explicit commandments&nbsp; not to get horses from Egypt, not to marry Gentile women,&nbsp; and&nbsp; not&nbsp; to multiply silver and gold (Dt. 17:17,18 cp. 1 Kings&nbsp; 10:21-29).</p> <p>Dt. 17:17-20 is a warning to the King of Israel not to multiply horses and wives, lest his heart be turned away. It s a conscious prediction of Solomon s apostasy. But one result of such behaviour would be that the King s heart would be  lifted up above his brethren (Dt. 17:20)- and this is exactly what happened to Solomon. He came to see himself as somehow above the rest of humanity, to the extent that he was convinced that he was acceptable to God, and that he could abuse his brethren because& he had wisdom. Significantly, Solomon uses the same Hebrew word translated  lifted up in Dt. 17:20 in Prov. 4:8, when he speaks of how the possession of wisdom will  exalt or lift up a person. He came to think that his mere possession of true wisdom gave him a superiority over others, and thus he was lifted up above his brethren. There are major warnings here for us, who for generations have possessed more Bible truth than any other church on earth. It <em>has </em>, sadly, led to a lifting up of many of our hearts above our fellow man and even our fellow brethren& Yet this doesn t take away from the wonderful truth of it all.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-7Solomon_And_Wisdom.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-7Solomon_And_Wisdom.htm</a></p> <p>Ecc 9 </p> <p>Solomon went ahead with his works rather than grappling with the reality of sheer grace. He so wanted to <em>do </em> something. He betrays this when he writes in Ecc. 9:7:  God now accepteth thy works . The Hebrew translated  accepteth means literally to satisfy a debt, and is elsewhere translated  to reconcile self . He saw works as reconciling man s debt to God, rather than perceiving that grace is paramount. He keeps on about David his father; and yet there was a crucial difference. David perceived the need for grace as the basis of man s reconciliation with God; whereas Solomon thought it was works. David wrote that God wants a broken heart and not thousands of sacrifices; yet Solomon offered the thousands of sacrifices, but didn t have the contrite heart of his father.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-2Solomon_And_The_Temple.htm</p> <p>Act 8 </p> <p>Acts 8:1 records that the entire membership of the Jerusalem ecclesia was scattered; the way we read of them numbering thousands by the time of Acts 21:20 suggests that to avoid persecution those who remained reconciled themselves with the temple, becoming a sect of Judaism, presumably with the tithe and temple tax going to the temple rather than to the ecclesia. These  thousands of Acts 21 were probably largely converted since the persecution that arose after the death of Stephen. The original Jerusalem ecclesia had gone and preached to the Gentiles (Acts 11:19,20), which wasn t what the later Jerusalem ecclesia supported. Indeed, Acts 11:22 goes straight on to record that the Jerusalem ecclesia sent representatives to find out what was going on. In order to escape further persecution, the Jerusalem ecclesia threw in their lot with the temple and orthodox Judaism. Finally Paul wrote to the Jerusalem ecclesia, as recorded in Hebrews. He sorrows that they fail to see the supremacy of Christ over Moses, and that despite initially enduring such persecution and loss of their goods (during the early persecutions), they had lost their real faith in Christ. The fact they weren t <em>then </em> being persecuted indicates they had reconciled with the temple. They needed to hold on, to keep the joy of faith they once had, rather than become hard hearted, judgmental, works-centred. But they didn t listen.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-2-2Politics_In_The_Church.htm</p> </div> </body> </html>