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style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'>Dt. 18 <o:p></o:p> </span></p> <p class=MsoNormal2>God s intention that the king of Israel should personally copy out all the commandments of the Law was so that  his heart be not lifted up above his brethren (Dt. 17:20<span class=GramE1>)-</span> i.e. reflecting upon the many requirements of the Law would ve convicted the King of his own failure to have been fully obedient, and therefore his heart would be humbled. And soon after this statement, we are hearing Moses reminding Israel that Messiah, the prophet like unto Moses, was to be raised up (Dt. 18:18). Human failure, and recognition of it, prepares us to accept Christ. To this end, God worked through Israel s weakness, time and again. He even used it as a path towards His provision of Messiah. God wanted to speak to them directly, but in their weakness they asked that He not do this. Instead of giving up with them, as a Father whose children say they don t want to hear His voice& instead God goes on to tell Moses:  They have well spoken that which they have spoken. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren [a prophecy applied to Christ in the New Testament]& and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him (Dt. 18:17<span class=GramE1>,18</span>).</p> <p class=MsoNormal2><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/spgrowth.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/spgrowth.htm</a> <o:p></o:p> </span></p> <p>Ecc.  10</p> <p>Solomon knew and warned that a little folly can destroy the man who is in reputation for wisdom and honour (Ecc. 10:1). Solomon had  honour [s.w.] to an unprecedented extent (1 Kings 3:13). But in the same book he admits that he, the man famed world-wide for wisdom, gave himself to folly (Ecc. 2:3). He knew so well the error and folly of his ways, but he could only preach the lesson but not heed it. He  saw that wisdom exceedeth folly (2:13)- but so what...</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-8The_Mind_Of_Solomon.htm</p> <p>Acts 9 </p> <p>Paul was told by Jesus that all those whom he had persecuted were in fact Jesus personally (Acts 9:5). And this idea of the believer being so totally bound up with his or her Lord continues with Paul throughout his life. Our brethren are to be Jesus to us- how we treat the least of them is how we treat Him, and we in turn are to be Christ to our brethren- and the world.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-3paul_preaching_christ.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-3paul_preaching_christ.htm</a></p> <p>May  2</p> <p> Dt.  19</p> <p>There are in some ways different levels on which we can serve God. I find this thought helpful in lessening my tendency to be harsh in judgment of others. Here's an example: "Thou shalt not avenge nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself" (Lev. 19:18). But they <em>could</em> avenge, and provisions were made for their human desire to do so (Num. 35:12; Dt. 19:6). These provisions must also be seen as a modification of the command not to murder. The highest level was <em>not</em> to avenge; but for the harshness of men's hearts, a concession was made <em>in some cases</em>, and on <em>God's</em> prerogative. <em>We</em> have no right to assume that prerogative.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-7-2Living_On_Different_Levels.htm</p> <p>Ecc.  11</p> <p>The tragic brevity of life means that " childhood and youth are vanity" , we should quit the time wasting follies of youth or overgrown childhood (and the modern world is full of this), and therefore too " remove anger from your heart and put away evil from your flesh" (Ecc. 11:10 AVmg.). Ecclesiastes uses the mortality of man not only as an appeal to work for our creator, but to simply have faith in His existence. Likewise: " We had the sentence of death in ourselves [" in our hearts we felt the sentence of death" , NIV], <em>that</em> we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead" (2 Cor. 1:9). The fact we are going to die, relatively soon, and lie unconscious...drives the man who seriously believes it to faith in the God of resurrection. It seems that at a time of great physical distress, Paul was made to realize that in fact he had " the sentence of death" within him, he was under the curse of mortality, and this led him to a hopeful faith that God would preserve him from the ultimate " so great a death" as well as from the immediate problems. Death being like a sleep, it follows that judgment day is our next conscious experience after death. Because death is an ever more likely possibility for us, our judgment is effectively <em>almost upon us</em>. And we must live with and in that knowledge.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bb/dp10.htm</p> <p>Act 10</p> <p>Peter s grasp of the extent of Christ s Lordship was reflected in the scope of his preaching.. He was taught in the Cornelius incident that because Christ is  Lord of <em>all</em> , therefore men from <em>every</em> (s.w.  all ) nation can receive forgiveness of sins (Acts 10:35,36). He makes the link back to the preaching commission in Acts 10:43: <em>all </em> in <em>every </em>nation who believe can receive remission of sins (s.w. Lk. 24:47)- as he was commanded to preach in the great commission. He came to see that the desperate need for reconcilliation with God was just as strong for those who had not directly slain His Son; for, Peter may have mused, all men would have held him  condemned by heaven if they had been Jerusalem Jews. And he realized that Christ was truly Lord of all, all men, everywhere, and not just of a few hundred thousand Jews. And with us too. The wider and the higher our vision and conception of the ascended Christ, the wider and more insistently powerful will be our appeal to literally all men. Yet Peter had heard the Lord s words, when He had asked them to tell all nations, and when He had prophesied that His cross would draw all men unto Him.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/13-3-4Appreciation_Of_Christs_Exaltation.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/13-3-4Appreciation_Of_Christs_Exaltation.htm</a></p> <p> May 3 </p> <p>Dt.  20</p> <p>The love of Jesus was ever seeking to appreciate the perspective and motivations of others; He could even ask for His crucifiers to be forgiven " for they know not what they do" . His love and sensitivity must become ours. We must be substantially transformed in the depths of our being, in the intricacies of our thoughts, feelings and dispositions, until we are permeated with the love that Christ had. The Law of Moses sought to inculcate a culture of care and sensitivity to others, and this spirit was fulfilled ultimately in the life and death of the Lord. The continued stress on not cooking a kid in its mothers milk was surely to teach sensitivity to the feelings of the mother goat- to encourage the Israelite to feel for others, even if they are animals, and seek to enter something of their feelings. And the sensitivity and thoughtfulness of God extends even to His plant creation:  & thou shalt not cut [some trees] down; for is the tree of the field man, that it should be besieged of thee? (Dt. 20:19 RV). And how much <em>more</em> sensitive is the Father to humankind!</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/15-7value_of_persons.htm</p> <p>Ecc.  12</p> <p>When "the spirit returns to God" (Ecc. 12:7) is this a reference to our Angel physically returning to Heaven, having been with us on earth for much of our lives? Heb. 12:22,23 is a passage that seems to defy convincing exposition: "Ye are come unto. . an innumerable company of Angels. . to the spirits of just men made perfect". This would equate the spirits with the Angels who had been their guardians. Two other references in Hebrews to "spirits" are to Angels (Heb. 1:7,14). Other passages which seem to imply some consciousness after death  would therefore refer to our guardian-Angel spirit; e. g. the souls under the altar crying to God after their death (Rev. 6:9,10). The implication could well be that we should ourselves endure, because we are now associated with the Angels who were the guardians of faithful men of the past who endured. The thought is obviously intended by the writer to encourage us to hold on, knowing that as the guardian Angels stood by and perfected through trial the lives of the faithful in the past, so they will with us.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/angels/angels8_1.htm</p> <p>Act 11, 12  </p> <p>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><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-2-2Politics_In_The_Church.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-2-2Politics_In_The_Church.htm</a> </p> <p>May 4 </p> <p>Dt.  21</p> <p>The women beheld Christ's dead corpse from afar. This seems to be encouraging us to imagine the picture of the Lord just at that point; the dead body on the cross, the victory achieved. It was only at this stage that the curse of Dt. 21 came into effect: " cursed (Heb. a curse; the Hebrew is <em>always</em> translated this way) is every one that hangeth on a tree" (Dt. 21:22,23). These words have been misunderstood as meaning that the Lord as a living being was under one of the Law's curses of condemnation. This cannot be. It must be remembered that crucifixion was a Roman, not Jewish method. The Deuteronomy passage was not written with reference to crucifixion, but rather to the custom of displaying the already dead body of a sinner on a pole as a witness and warning (cp. the display of Saul's body). Sin brought the curse; and so every sinful person who died for their sin was bearing the curse of God. They were to be buried quickly as a sign of God taking no pleasure in the death of the wicked. The Lord died the death of a sinner; He bore our sins, and therefore our curse (Gal. 3:13,14). Every condemned sinner whose body had been displayed had been a type of the sinless Son of God. He was exhibited there for one or two hours (until Joseph got the permission to take the body), totally, totally united with sinful man. And then, because God had no pleasure in this condemnation of sin, the body was taken and buried.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/cross/1-1-15Pierced_Christ.htm</p> <p>Song 1</p> <p>The  Song  of  Solomon  is  the record of Solomon's romance with Pharaoh's  daughter.  Of  course, this was an explicit breach of the  crystal  clear commandment not to marry women from Egypt. He should  have  admired  neither the horses nor the women of Egypt (Song of Solomon  1:9);  yet he begins his Song with an unashamed breach of the command   not  to  desire  either  of  these  things.  The unashamedness of Solomon coupled with his spirituality indicates that  at  this  time he was genuinely convinced that what he was doing  was  deeply  spiritual;  when  in  fact it was completely carnal. He totally ignored his own advice about chosing a spiritual woman as a wife. The girl he loved liked wine- unusual, perhaps, in that culture; she loves him because of his ointment, and he loves her because of her jewellery (Song of Solomon 1:2,3,10; 4:4). He says that deep kissing with her gives the same after effect as drinking enough wine that you talk in your sleep afterwards (Song of Solomon 7:9). It s all very human and carnal.  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-2The_Song_Of_Solomon.htm</p> <p>Act 13  </p> <p>Peter not only preached on Pentecost. His life became dedicated to the work of the Gospel. Paul referred to the Jews to whom he preached as his  brethren (Acts 13:26), and it may be that Peter at least initially understood his commission to  strengthen thy brethren as meaning preaching to his unbelieving Jewish brethren (although the same Greek word is used by Peter regarding his work of upbuilding the converts, 1 Pet. 5:10; 2 Pet. 1:12). If misbelieving Jews are called "brethren", then all the phobia about fellowshipping others who may misunderstand things seems totally misplaced.</p> <p> <a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/13-3-4Appreciation_Of_Christs_Exaltation.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/13-3-4Appreciation_Of_Christs_Exaltation.htm</a> </p> <p>May 5</p> <p> Dt.  22</p> <p>For Hebrew men like Hosea, the chastity of virgins and the faithfulness of wives were the most important thing in their personal lives (cp. Dt. 22:13-30). And so, the point is being made, God values our faithfulness supremely. The man had a deep sense of shame before the whole world if the woman he trusted betrayed him (Jer. 2:37). The shame of God over Israel was before the whole cosmos, not just some village in Palestine. No wonder Jeremiah wept at the thought of what was being done to God in this way (Jer. 8:22-9:3). God is at stake, none less than this, in His relationship with us. So let us this day take Him and our relationship with Him with absolute seriousness.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/15-10-7.htm </p> <p>Song 2</p> <p>Solomon later turned to alcohol for a while (Ecc. 1)- yet his girlfriend says that Solomon took her to house of wine (Song 2:4 RVmg.) whilst still young. The seeds of failure were there early on- he preached against wine in Proverbs, and yet still drunk himself. Will we this day be so hypocritical?</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-1Solomons_Apostacy.htm </p> <p>Act 14, 15 </p> <p>Pagans at Lystra were so overcome by his oratory that they were convinced he was the god Mercury come down to earth; it took Paul quite some effort to persuade them that he was an ordinary man (Acts 14:12). This was the man Paul. He had undoubted ability as a preacher. In passing, the Corinthians mocked his weak physical presence; and yet Paul had undoubted charisma and power of personality, right up to the end. Was it not that he consciously suppressed the power of his personality when he visited Corinth? This was humility and self-knowledge indeed. Indeed, his reasoning in 2 Cor. 10,11 is that he could present himself to Corinth as quite a different brother Paul than what he did.  This is a pattern to us, in becoming all things to all men. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-3Preaching_Of_Paul.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-3Preaching_Of_Paul.htm</a> </p> <p>May  6 </p> <p>Dt.  23</p> <p class=MsoNormal1><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'>Dt. 23 <o:p></o:p> </span></p> <p class=MsoNormal1>The fact that God s word is true means that we also ought to be truthful- for we should speak  as oracles of God . Moses surely intended a connection between his words recorded in Dt. 8:3 and Dt. 23:23- for they are the only times he uses a particular Hebrew word translated  proceed or  go out , within the same speech uttered the same day:  By every word that <span class=SpellE1><em>proceedeth</em></span><em> </em>out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live& that which <span class=SpellE1><em>goeth</em></span><em> forth</em> [<span class=SpellE1>s.w</span>.  <span class=SpellE1>proceedeth</span> ] out of <em>thy</em> lips / mouth thou <span class=SpellE1>shalt</span> keep and perform . The influence of continually hearing <em>God s</em> word should be that <em>our</em> words are likewise truthful and trustworthy. The fact that the Bible as God s word is true has implications for our own truthfulness. <span class=SpellE1><em>Pistos</em></span> is listed as a fruit of the spirit in Gal. 5; but the idea it can carry is not so much of faith in the sense of belief, but of faithfulness, loyalty, reliability, utter dependability. If this is how God s words are to us, then this is how we and our words should be to others.</p> <p class=MsoNormal1><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-8-1Inspired_Infallible_Word_Of_God.htm">http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-8-1Inspired_Infallible_Word_Of_God.htm</a> <o:p></o:p> </span></p> <p>Song 3</p> <p>In Song 3:1 we find the girl again at night, dreaming of having Solomon with her. But when one night he does actually come, she doesn't go to meet him immediately. And there's a warning for us. Like Israel we may 'desire the day of the Lord', study prophecy about it, write about it, enthuse about it. But when He comes, to what end will it be to us? Will we <em>in a moment</em> drop everything and go to Him, believing that He loves us just as we are? Or will we run off to buy oil, slap make up on...? The tragedy of Solomon's girl was that she started putting her make up on, and then her heart smote her and she opened the door, her hands dropping perfume all over the bolt (Song 5:5 RV). She finally realized that he had loved her for who she was, how she was. But it was tragically too late. He'd gone. We need to learn that lesson <em>now</em>, to know the love of Christ... so that in that moment when we know for sure 'He's back!', we will without hesitation <em>go to Him</em> with that perfect / mature love, that casts out fear.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment3_3_1.htm</p> <p>Act 16, 17 </p> <p>If we understand  the law of Christ in the same sense as  the law of Moses then we have missed the crucial message that is in Christ; we have merely exchanged one legal code for another. His is a spirit of grace which specifically, legally demands nothing and yet by the same token demands our all. And so in all our living and thinking, we must constantly be asking  What would Jesus do? Is this the way of God s Spirit? Is this how the law of love teaches me to act?  . To live the life of the Spirit, to construct in daily living an ambience of spiritual life, is therefore a binding law. Living according to the spirit / mind / example of Jesus will mean that we naturally find the answers to some of the practical dilemnas which may arise in our lives. Thus we read that when Paul tried to go to preach in Bithynia  the spirit of Jesus suffered them not (Acts 16:7 RV). Could it not be that the spirit of Jesus, a life lived after His pattern, compelled them to (let s imagine) go to visit a sick child and this meant they missed the transport leaving for Bithynia?</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>May  7</p> <p> Dt.  24</p> <p>True Christianity places a remarkable value on the worth of the individual person. Even in the Old Testament, God had spoken of gathering His people  one by one (Is. 27:12). To deal with another person as a slave or chattel, to not treat a person as a person, was seen even under Mosaic Law as meriting the death penalty- for it was as if a person had been killed by treating them like that (Dt. 24:7 RVmg.). The Old Testament reflects that God has a heart for all humanity- not just Israel. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/15-7value_of_persons.htm</p> <p>Song 4</p> <p>The  blindness  of  Solomon  is  driven  home time and again. He warned  the  typical  young  man  about  being captivated by the eyelids of the Gentile woman (Prov. 6:25); yet it was the eyes of Miss  Egypt  that  he openly admitted stole his heart (Song 4:9; 6:5).  The  strange woman has words like a honeycomb (Prov. 5:3); and  yet  this  is  exactly  how Solomon found his woman's words (Song  4:11). Will we be blind, in some ways, at some times, today?</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-4Sin_Never_Satisfies.htm </p> <p>Act 18, 19 </p> <p>The Gospel is in itself the duty of preaching it. In Corinth,  Paul was constrained by the word, testifying to the Jews&  (Acts 18:5 RV). The AV has  pressed in the spirit ; knowing the word somehow compelled Paul to testify of it.  The word (<em>logos</em>) of God " , a phrase which the NT mainly uses with reference to the Gospel rather than the whole Bible, is sometimes used as parallel to the idea of preaching the Gospel (Rev. 1:9; 6:9; 20:4 and especially Col. 1:25). Paul speaks of having 'fulfilled' the Gospel by preaching it (Rom. 15:19 Gk.); the Gospel is in itself something which demands to be preached by those having it.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/1.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/1.htm</a> </p> <p>May  8</p> <p> Dt.  25</p> <p>To despise your brother, to disregard his importance as a person, is to be seen as an ultimate sin- so Jesus taught. In this light we should seek to avoid the many terms of abuse which are so common today: " a right idiot" etc. The Law taught that one should not curse a deaf person. Think what this really means. Surely the essence of it is that we should never be abusive, in any form, to or about anyone, even if it is sure that they will never know or feel our abuse. The Law also taught that a man must not be over punished, or else, if you did this, you considered him  light (Dt. 25:3 Heb.). The weight of persons, the immense meaning attached to them, is not accepted by us if our judgment of them is too harsh or severe.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/15-7value_of_persons.htm</p> <p>Song 5</p> <p>When the Lord speaks about knocking on the door of our hearts and our response (Rev. 3:20), He is picking up the language of the Song of Solomon 5:2-8, where the voice of the bridegroom (cp. Jesus) knocks at the door of the bride. The Song of Solomon appears to refer to a hopeless romance between King Solomon and a dark skinned Egyptian girl. Despite the passionate expressions both make to each other, there is a tension in the Song, something unsatisfactory in the relationship. They meet in secret, keep disappearing, the Jerusalem girls mock the Egyptian girl, the girl wishes that Solomon was an Egyptian like her so that they wouldn't be despised; and rather than the Song culminating as we would expect in a wedding, instead the couple part from each other. There are some New Testament links which suggest that the girl can be seen as a type of the ecclesia [e.g. Song 4:7 = Eph. 5:27]. But Song 5 seems to give insight into the unworthy elements of the potential bride of Christ. </p> <p>Notice the sequence there:</p> <p>While she sleeps at night, the bridegroom comes and knocks [unworthy virgins sleeping instead of being awake; the Lord Jesus comes; Lk. 12:36 uses the same figure, of the Lord's return being like a knock]</p> <p>She replies that she's not dressed properly, makes excuses about her feet, she can't come and open [the unworthy don't respond immediately]</p> <p>He tries to open the door from the outside, putting his hand through the latch-hole [by grace, after the pattern of Lot being encouraged to leave Sodom when he hesitated, the Lord will be patient even with sleepy virgins in His desire for their salvation]</p> <p>Her heart is moved with desire for him [the rejected still call Jesus 'Lord, Lord'; they love Him emotionally]</p> <p>She starts dressing herself up, and then is overtaken by desire and rushes to the door, her hands dripping all kinds of perfume and make up over the lock as she opens it [cp. the virgins going to buy oil, the unworthy trying to prepare themselves all too late, not trusting that their Lord loves them as they are at the moment of His coming]</p> <p>But he's gone , he <em>withdraws himself</em> [all too late, the door is shut, He never knew them]</p> <p>Her soul fails [the shock of rejection]</p> <p>She seeks him but doesn't find him, calls but he doesn't answer [Prov. 1:28; the rejected call, but aren't answered; they seek the Lord early, but don't find Him. Hos. 5:6 is likewise relevant: "They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to <em>seek </em>the LORD; but they shall not find him; he hath <em>withdrawn himself</em> from them". ]</p> <p>She feels tired of her relationship with him ("sick of love"). </p> <p>She is persecuted by the world around her ["condemned with the world"]</p> <p>The basic point is that if we don't immediately respond to the Lord's knock, we show ourselves to not love Him enough. If we don't open immediately, it's as if we didn't open at all. The Lord wants us as we are, bleary eyed and without our make up, but with a basic overriding love of Him , and faith in the depth of His love, which will lead us to immediately go out to meet Him . This will be the ultimate and crucial divide- between those who believe in the Lord's love for us, who have known the humanly unknowable love of Christ; and those who think they need to prepare<em> themselves</em> to make themselves good enough for Him. Solomon called to the girl through the keyhole: "...my undefiled...". But she doesn't want to immediately come to Him because she doesn't want to meet him with 'defiled' feet (Song 5:2,3). She couldn't believe his words, that in his eyes, she was <em>un</em>defiled. And the enormity of the passion of Christ for us is likewise so hard for us to accept.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment3_3_1.htm</p> <p>Act 20 </p> <p>We are covered with His righteousness, and therefore have a share in His victory; and yet it also means that we must act as He did and does. <span lang="EN-GB">Paul felt so truly and absolutely forgiven that he could say that he was  pure from the blood of all men (Acts 20:26). Yet as he said that, he must surely have had the blood of Stephen on his mind, trickling out along the Palestinian dust, as the clothes of the men who murdered Stephen lay at Paul s feet as a testimony that <em>he</em> was responsible for it. But he knew his forgiveness. He could confidently state that he was pure from that blood. Righteousness had been imputed, the sin covered</span>- because he was in Christ. </p> <p> <a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/1-1-1What_It_Means_To_Be_In_Christ.html"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/1-1-1What_It_Means_To_Be_In_Christ.html</a> </p> <p>May  9 </p> <p>Dt.  26</p> <p>We are to live out in practice what we have been made in status by our gracious Father. The very fact He counts us as in Christ, as the spotless bride of His Son, must be both felt and lived up to by us. The way He counts us like this is a wonderful motivation to rise up to it all. Consider how God told Israel that <em>if</em> they kept His commandments, <em>then</em> they would be His  peculiar treasure (Ex. 19:5). This conditional promise is then referred to by Moses as having been fulfilled- Israel became His  peculiar treasure by status even though they did <em>not</em> keep His commandments (Dt. 7:6; 14:2 s.w.; Ps. 135:4). Moses concludes by saying that  the Lord hath avouched thee this day to be his peculiar people [s.w.]& <em>that</em> thou shouldest keep all his commandments (Dt. 26:18). See what s happening here. God said that <em>if</em> they were obedient, <em>then</em> they would be His special people. Yet He counted them as His special people even though they were not obedient. And He did this so that they would be so touched by this grace that they <em>would</em> be obedient.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/12.htm</p> <p>Song 6</p> <p> Note how the Angelic  hosts of God are contrasted with the  hosts of the enemies of God s people (2 Sam. 5:24; 1 Sam. 17:45,46; Is. 37:36). David and Goliath is the great example- David came to the <em>hosts</em> of the Philistines in the name of the God of Angelic <em>hosts</em>. And hence his faithful confidence that  the battle is the Lord s (1 Sam. 17:47). This is a comfort not only in times of physical danger but in realizing that in any situation, there are far more with us than with our opponents. In every  battle , we of course should be  on the Lord s side - and the battle is His, and ultimate victory assured. Perhaps these things are the reference of the enigmatic Song 6:13, which speaks of the dance or company of the two hosts- those of Angels and the corresponding hosts on earth? The Angelic hosts stand opposed to the hosts of opposition we face today.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/angels/angels2_1.htm </p> <p>Act 21, 22</p> <p>Philip prophesied by the Holy Spirit about Paul:  So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hand of the Gentiles . They  shall do this, he said. And many other prophets said the same (Acts 20:23).  And when we heard these things, both we, and they of that place, besought him not to go up to Jerusalem (Acts 21:11,12). Those brethren evidently understood the word of prophecy as conditional- its fulfilment could be avoided by Paul not going to Jerusalem. Indeed, there were prophecies that said he should <em>not</em> go up to Jerusalem (Acts 21:4). Yet Paul went, knowing that if he died at Jerusalem then the will of God would be done (Acts 21:14). All this surely shows that prophecies are open to human interpretation; they can be seen as commandment (e.g. not to go to Jerusalem), but it all depends upon our perception of the wider picture.</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> </p> <p>May  10</p> <p> Dt.  27</p> <p>Israel were told that <em>because</em> they were the people of God, in covenant with Him, <em>therefore</em> they <em>had</em> to be obedient. If they were disobedient, they would be cursed. And if they backed out of being God s people, they were also cursed (Dt. 27:9,19,26). There was no way back: total devotion to obedience. God would either rejoice over them to bless them, or rejoice over them to curse them (Dt. 28:63). He isn t passive; His energy will be expended upon us one way or the other.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-8-2The_Logic_Of_Devotion.htm</p> <p>Song 7</p> <p> And I find more bitter than death the woman, whose heart <em>is</em> snares and nets, <em>and</em> her hands <em>as</em> bands: whoso pleaseth God shall escape from her; but the sinner shall be taken by her (Ecc. 7:26) is a clear reference back to Solomon s own entanglement. In his younger days, he had found  the hair of thine head like the purple of a king [i.e. he imagined her to be suited to him, the King of Israel, when she wasn t]; the king is held captive in the tresses thereof (Song 7:5 RV). Solomon understood so much about his own failure- but it somehow didn't personally and urgently register with him. Are we similar?</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-8The_Mind_Of_Solomon.htm </p> <p>Act 23, 24 </p> <p>Consider Paul's claim that he had lived in all good conscience before God all his life (Acts 23:1). The Lord Jesus Himself informs us that Paul kicked against the pricks of his own conscience (Acts 9:5). And in any case, Paul elsewhere says that his good conscience actually means very little, because it is God's justification, not self-justification through a clear conscience, which is ultimately important (1 Cor. 4:4 RSV). It seems Paul was aware of his weak side when he comments how despite his own clear conscience, God may see him otherwise (1 Cor. 4:4 RSV); and surely this was in his mind. So how true were Paul's words in Acts 23:1? It seems that he said them in bitter self-righteousness. Soon afterwards he changes his life story to say that he had always <em>tried</em> to have a  good conscience (24:16). And we too must grow.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-2-2Weakness_Of_Paul.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-2-2Weakness_Of_Paul.htm</a> </p> <p>May  11</p> <p> Dt.  28</p> <p>There's a logic about devotion to God. Total freedom to do what <em>we</em> personally want is not possible. We are slaves, we can't serve two masters. So why not serve Christ rather than the Biblical devil? Likewise Moses offered Israel the choice of bondservice to either Yahweh or their enemies (Dt. 28:47,48). And Mic. 2:3 likewise reminds Israel that they will be under the yoke of judgment if they reject Yahweh s yoke. The Lord spoke of His servants having a light yoke (Mt. 11:30). The Bible minded among His hearers would have thought back to the threatened punishment of an iron yoke for the disobedient (Dt. 28:48). 'It's a yoke either way', they would have concluded. But the Lord's yoke <em>even in this life</em> is light, and has promise of the life which is to come! The logic of taking it, with the restrictions it inevitably implies (for it is a yoke), is simply overpowering.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-9The_Logic_Of_Endurance.htm</p> <p>Song 8</p> <p>Solomon made the classic mistake of assuming that his will and word were effectively equivalent to the word of God. In Prov. 6:21 he speaks of the need to bind the law about your heart and neck; but in Song 8:6 he asks his Gentile lover to  set ME as a seal upon thine heart and arm. And often in Proverbs he uses the language of the blessings for keeping God s law and turns them into the blessings for keeping <em>his </em>law; e.g.   My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart (Prov. 7:1,2). And we all do the same in essence, whenever we assume that our consciences are effectively the will of God; when we  play God by allowing our words and will to count as if they are <em>His</em> word. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-5-7Solomon_And_Wisdom.htm</p> <p>Act 25, 26 </p> <p>Paul takes a prophecy concerning how Christ personally would be the light of the whole world (Is. 49:6), and applies it to himself in explanation of why he was devoted to being a light to the whole world <em>himself </em>(Acts 13:47- although 26:23 applies it to Jesus personally). Paul even says that this prophecy of Christ as the light of the world was a <em>commandment</em> to him; all that is true of the Lord Jesus likewise becomes binding upon us, because we are <em>in</em> Him. Note that Paul says that God has commanded <em>us</em> to witness; it wasn t that Paul was a special case, and God especially applied Isaiah s words concerning Christ as light of the Gentiles to Paul. They apply to <em>us </em>, to all who are in Christ. And when on trial, Paul explained <em> his </em>preaching to the Jews  and then to the Gentiles as being related to the fact that he had to  shew the Gospel to them because Christ rose from the dead to  shew light unto the people, and to the Gentiles (Acts 26:20,23). In other words, he saw his personal preaching as shewing forth the light of Jesus personally.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-3paul_preaching_christ.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-3paul_preaching_christ.htm</a> </p> <p>May  12</p> <p> Dt.  29</p> <p>Covenant relationship brings a natural desire to live within the atmosphere of God's spirituality. For Israel in covenant with God, absolutely nothing- not sex, menstruation, the content of clothing fabric, diet- could fall outside the scope of their covenant relationship. And so in principle it is with us under the new covenant. Such a relationship also precludes the worship of <em>any</em> other God. Moses said that God had made a covenant with every member of Israel " lest there should be among you man, or woman, or family, or tribe, whose heart turneth away& to go and serve the gods of these nations; lest there should be among you a root that beareth gall" (Dt. 29:14-18). The height of the demand, the extent of the implication of being in covenant with God ought to preclude the possibility of worshipping anything else. The covenant we have entered has constant and binding claims upon our loyalty. This is the implication of the promises to Abraham which form the basis of that covenant.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-13Covenant_Relationship_With_God.htm</p> <p>Isa 1</p> <p>Israel were to see themselves as  in the suffering servant, as spiritual Israel are to see themselves as in Christ.  He was oppressed , as Israel at that time were being  oppressed by Assyria. As they were covered in wounds and spiritual sickness (Is. 1:5,6), so the suffering servant bore their diseases and rose again in salvation victory. Thus not even our sins stop the Lord Jesus from being able to feel an identity with us; and we should treat sinners likewise.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/1-1-2Witnessing_For_Christ.html </p> <p>Act 27 </p> <p>The legalists taught that unless believers kept the circumcision laws,  ye cannot be saved (Acts 15:1). The very same Greek phrase is used by Paul when he calls out in urgency during the storm:  Except these abide in the ship, <em>ye</em> cannot be saved (Acts 27:31). Surely Luke s record is making a connection; the legalists taught that it was time to quit the rest of the community unless they got their way, for the sake of their eternal future; and Paul responds by teaching that our salvation depends upon us pulling together against the desperate situation we find ourselves in. It s as if the salvation of Christ s body depends upon it staying together. As time went on in the first century, the gap between the Jewish and Gentile elements, the right and the left wing, the legalists and the libertines, got ever wider. The tension got stronger. But nobody won. The Jewish element returned to the Law, and forgot all about the saving grace of Jesus. The Gentile element mixed even more with the world and its philosophies, and forgot the  Jewish roots of the Christian faith. They ended up formulating blasphemous doctrines like the trinity, which nobody with any awareness of the Jewish foundation of the Father and Son could possibly have entertained. And so the faith was lost, until it was revived again in those groups who again interpreted Christianity in terms of  the hope of Israel . And so with us, those villages which have believers in them who won t reconcile with each other will one day have no believers in them. For love s sake, brethren, for the sake of the Lord and His cross,  be ye reconciled . Give and take from each other. Try to see yourselves from outside yourselves, realise where your tendency is, to the right or to the left. So much of the NT letter writing is designed to gender unity between these different factions.  We should approach these letters seeking for counsel for ourselves.  We must appreciate and apply our understanding that there is but One Lord, one faith, one baptism (Ephesians 4:5).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-2-1Division_In_The_Church.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/16-2-1Division_In_The_Church.htm</a> </p> <p>May 13 </p> <p>Dt.  30</p> <p>In Romans, Paul comments that truly Israel have already heard the essence of the Gospel we preach, in that  the word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach (Rom. 10:8). He quotes here from Dt. 30:12:  For this command [to be obedient- or, as Paul interprets it, the word of the Gospel]...is it not far from thee [cp. how God is  not far from anybody, Acts 17:27]. It is not in heaven above, that thou shouldest say, Who will ascend for us into heaven, and bring it to us, that we may <em>hear and do it</em>? (Dt. 30:12 LXX). As Moses spoke these words on the last day of his life, he was at the foot of Nebo, which he ascended for his final meeting with God. He is surely alluding to the way in which he had  ascended to heaven before in ascending to God on Sinai, fulfilling Israel s wish that he should bring God s word to them rather than God Himself speak with them. He had returned bringing God s word to them, to which they had agreed they would  hear and do . Earlier, in Deut 5:27, Moses had reminded the people how they had said:  Go thou near, and hear all that the LORD our God shall say: and speak thou unto us all that the LORD our God shall speak unto thee; and we will <em>hear it, and do</em> it . Now he is telling them that actually the word he had brought to them needn t have been brought to them as in essence it was within their hearts. It is for exactly this reason that Paul could reason elsewhere in Romans that the Gentiles do by nature the things contained in the Law, although they don t know the letter of the Law. And the same principle is found in 1 Thess. 4:9:  As touching brotherly love, ye need not that I write unto you: for ye yourselves [i.e. from within yourselves?] are taught of God to love one another . This is rather like how the Gentiles were not  written unto and yet they knew from their conscience the essential spirit of the Mosaic Law. So, let God's word touch your heart this day!</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/6.htm </p> <p>Isa 2</p> <p>In Christ, the valleys are to be lifted up, and the mountains made low, thus creating a plain. I read this as meaning that those with too low a view of themselves are to be lifted up, and the heights of human pride brought down. The over confident and under confident alike are to levelled so that they can be a path for the Lord s glory.  Made low in Is. 40:4 is surely in the spirit of Is. 2:11, which predicts that in the day of judgment,  the lofty looks of man shall be humbled [s.w.  made low ], and the haughtiness of man shall be bowed down . The experience of condemnation in the coming day of the Lord will mean that  the proud and lofty will be  brought low (Is. 2:12,17; 5:15). In fact, Isaiah is full of references to the proud being  made low by judgment- the same Hebrew word is common: Is. 10:33; 13:11; 25:11; 26:5. Perhaps Paul had this in mind when he said that our preaching is a bringing down of every high thing that is exalted against God (2 Cor. 10:5). Our message is basically that we must be humbled one way or the other- either by our repentance and acceptance of the Gospel today, or through the experience of condemnation at the day of judgment. We re calling people to humility. And we must ask whether the content and style of our preaching really does that. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/4Preaching_And_Humility.htm</p> <p>Act 28 </p> <p>A deeper sense of the presence of Jesus, a feeling for who He was and is, a being with Him, will make us bold in preaching. Even Paul found it hard; he asked others to pray for him, that he would preach  boldly [s.w.] as he ought to (Eph. 6:19); and their prayers were heard, for in his imprisonment during which he wrote Ephesians, he preached boldly (Acts 28:31 s.w.); indeed, boldness characterised his whole life (Phil. 1:20 s.w.). In passing, we note how Paul felt spiritually weaker than he was; he felt not bold, when he was bold; and we see how the admission of weakness to others and their prayers for it can grant us the victory we seek. The point is, who the Lord is, we are. Or, we must be. If He was bold, if He was apt to teach and patient, so must we be; indeed, so are we, if we are truly in Him. Likewise, all the Father is, we are to manifest if we bear His Name.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-4boldness_in_witness.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/3-4boldness_in_witness.htm</a> </p> <p>May  14 </p> <p>Dt.  31</p> <p>A few hours before the death of Moses, he had been telling Israel: " While I am yet alive with you this day (for a few more hours), ye have been rebellious against Yahweh; and how much more after my death?" (Dt. 31:27). Earlier that same day the Angel had told him: " Thou shalt <em>lie down </em>(mg.) with thy fathers (cp. the Angel lying him down in the grave)...and this people will <em>rise up </em>(i.e. immediately after his death), and go a whoring after the gods of the strangers of the land" (Dt. 31:16). No wonder this was ringing in Moses' ears as he came to his death. Yet he triumphed in the fact that a minority would not give way. <em>His very last words</em> were a confident exaltation that ultimately Israel would overcome their temptations, the influence and idols of the surrounding world. But he knew that the majority of them would spiritually fall because of these things. Therefore he was looking forward to the minority in Israel who would gloriously overcome, who would come to the Kingdom, the land of corn and wine, when the heavens would drop dew. This is clearly the language of Ps. 72 and Isaiah about the future Kingdom. Moses met death with the vision of the faithful minority in the Kingdom, in the promised land, having overcome all their besetting temptations. And the Lord Jesus died with exactly that same vision (Ps. 22:22-31; 69: 30-36).  </p> <p>What an end. Out of weakness, such weakness, he was made strong. His temperamental faith, with its flashes of devotion, turned into a solid rock, a real ongoing relationship with a loving Father. <em>Every one</em> of his human relationships had failed: with his natural brother and sister, with his wife, with his mother, with his adopted mother, with his people. But finally that lonely man found his rest in Yahweh, Israel's God, he came to know Him as his friend and saviour. No wonder he is held up, by way of allusion throughout the New Testament, as both our example and a superb type of our Lord Jesus. Israel mourned for Moses, but it is emphasized that their weeping came to an end (Dt. 34:8). This is one of the most tragic things about the whole record of the death of Moses. They rose up, and forgot his love (Dt. 31:16,27). And what of us?  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-3-3Death_Of_Moses.htm</p> <p>Isa 3, 4</p> <p>Our judge is also the counsel for our defence. "The Lord standeth up to plead, and (also) standeth up to judge his people" (Is. 3:13); even though He is also the witness against them (Mal. 3:5). David understood this when he asked that God would "judge [RV "give sentence"] between me and thee, and see [i.e. be the witness], and plead my cause [i.e. be the advocate]" (1 Sam. 24:15). These are Old Testament anticipations of the Lord Jesus as witness, advocate and judge.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment1_2.htm</p> <p>Col 1 </p> <p>The Lord Jesus works through men like us (Heb. 13:21), He comes and preaches to men through those who preach Him (Eph. 2:17; 4:21). He works in the lives of His people so that they witness about Him to others (Col. 1:29), strengthening those who preach Him (2 Tim. 4:17 and often in the Acts record), with them in their witness to the end of the world, figuratively and geographically (Mt. 28:20), working with the preachers (Mk. 16:20), and by their preaching, He reveals Himself to men (Eph. 1:7-9), taking hold of them by the Gospel (Phil. 3:12). He is like the boy who brings the ship's line to shore (AV " forerunner" , Heb. 6:20), and then guides the ship to dock; or, to use a different figure, the author (beginner) and developer of our faith (Heb. 12:3).  </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-7The_Spirit_Of_Jesus.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-7The_Spirit_Of_Jesus.htm</a> </p> <p>May  15 </p> <p>Dt.  32</p> <p> Moses was pleading with Israel to " choose life" , not with the passivity which may appear from our armchair reading of passages like Dt. 32. I wonder if he wasn t screaming this to them, breaking down in the climax of logic and passion which resulted in that appeal. Yet he knew that the majority of Israel would not choose life. When he appeals to them to choose obedience he is therefore thinking of the minority who would  respond. Our Lord Jesus, with his knowledge of human nature, must have sensed that so many of those called into his new covenant would also turn away; he must have known that only a minority of Israel would choose the life which he offered. Yet like Moses he doubtless concentrated his thoughts on the minority who would respond. Moses spoke Deuteronomy without notes. It was no reading of a carefully prepared paper. All these things were in his heart; their proneness to failure, the coming of judgement for sin, his knowledge of their future apostasy. Enter into the <em>passion</em> of it all. The man who was willing to give his eternal life for them, about to die for the sake of their provocation- singing a final song to them, giving a final speech, which showed that he knew perfectly well that they would turn away from what he was trying to do for them, and therefore the majority of them would not be saved. As he came to the end of his speech, he seems to have sensed they didn t grasp the reality of it all:  It is not a vain thing for you; because it is your life (Dt. 32:47); and thus his speech rises to a crescendo of intensity of pleading with them, after the pattern of the Lord. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-3-1Themes_Of_Moses_In_Deuteronomy.htm</p> <p>Isa 5</p> <p>There are many passages where God emphasizes the essential unity of Israel and Judah through the device of parallelism. </p> <blockquote> <p>" For the vineyard of the Lord of Hosts</p> <p>                is the house of <em>Israel</em>,</p> <p>                and the men of <em>Judah</em></p> <p>His pleasant plant" (Is. 5:7).</p> </blockquote> <p>By Judah and Israel working together, the whole people of God could have brought forth spiritual fruit:  Ephraim is an heifer that is taught, that loveth to tread out the corn& I will set a rider on Ephraim. Judah shall plow, Jacob [i.e. Ephraim, the 10 tribes] shall break his clods. Sow to yourselves in righteousness& break up your fallow ground  (Hos. 10:11,12 RV). Unity with our brethren will likewise be fruitful.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/7-6Christadelphian_Divisions.htm </p> <p>Col 2 </p> <p>After baptism we should " live in <em>new-ness</em> of life" (Rom. 6:4),. serving Him in " newness of spirit (mind)" (Rom. 7:6). The spiritual life, the mind-life that we now share with Him is a life that is ever being made new. This new-<em>ness </em>of mind and living is the very antithesis of the life of spiritual boredom which some complain of. The Lord Jesus is seeking to merge our lives with His eternal, ever-new life; this was the process which began at baptism. There is therefore a sense in which baptism is an ongoing experience. As we die to various aspects of the flesh, so we come alive to spiritual life in those areas; we thereby live in a new-ness of life. <em>As</em> we received Christ Jesus as Lord at baptism, so we <em>live</em> daily in Him; our baptism experience is lived out throughout daily life (Col. 2:6). Thus Paul spoke of how he died daily so that he might share in the Lord's resurrection life (1 Cor. 15:31).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/enduring_to_the_end.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/enduring_to_the_end.htm</a> </p> <p>May  16 </p> <p>Dt.  33, 34</p> <p>Moses  prophesied that Ephraim would  push the people [Gentile inhabitants of the land] together to the ends of the earth / land (Dt. 33:17). And yet Hos. 7:8 cp. Ps. 106:34-36 criticise Ephraim for <em>failing</em> to push the people out of the land. Moses prophecies about the tribes sound like predictions; but they were actually commands which those tribes had the freewill to obey or not. So much potential has been enabled for us each day- will we rise up to it?</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-2-1Conditional_Prophecy.htm </p> <p>Isa 6</p> <p>Preaching is made powerful by humility, and recognition of personal sin. Isaiah realised his unworthiness: " Woe is me! For I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips" . He felt he was going to be condemned. But then the Angel comforted him: " Thine iniquity is taken away, and thy sin purged" . And then immediately he offered to go on a preaching mission to Israel: " Here am I, send me" (Is. 6:5-8). This incident is full of allusion to the sending of an equally hesitant Moses:</p> <table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="8" width="80%"> <tbody> <tr> <td valign="top" width="232"><h4>Moses</h4></td> <td valign="top" width="232"><h4>Isaiah</h4></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>God appears in the burning bush</p></td> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>God appears among the seraphim, the burning ones</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>Moses is reluctant to bear God s word because  I am a man of uncircumcised lips </p></td> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>Isaiah felt the same-  a man of unclean lips </p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>Whom shall I send& who will go? (Ex. 3:8,9)</p></td> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>Ditto (Is. 6:8,9)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="232"><p>Moses willing to go (Ex. 3:4)</p></td> <td valign="top" width="232"><p> Here am I, send me </p></td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/4Preaching_And_Humility.htm </p> <p>Col 3, 4</p> <p>If the first century converts were seriously expected to learn the Gospel of Mark, and their elders (e.g. James, Peter, John and Paul) all set them this example (<em>regardless</em> of their intellectual background)- what of us today? " Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly" (Col. 3:16) may well be an allusion to the tradition of learning the Gospel of Mark. How can it <em>richly</em> dwell in us if we do not daily meditate upon those inspired records?  </p> <p> <a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-6-3-4Nature_Of_Gospel_Records.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-6-3-4Nature_Of_Gospel_Records.htm</a></p> <p>May  17</p> <p>Josh.  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 to the Euphrates (Josh. 1:4). But Joshua ended up drawing up the borders of the land far smaller than these; he didn t even seek to subdue the territory up to the Euphrates, even though God had promised him potential success and even commanded him to do so. Joshua was to divide up the whole land promised to Abraham, amongst the tribes of Israel (Josh. 1:6). And yet in the extensive descriptions of Joshua dividing up the land, we don t find him dividing up that whole territory up to the Euphrates. He seems to have lacked that vision, and fallen into the mire of minimalism, just content with a utilitarian, small scale conquest, rather than seeing the bigger picture of the potential Kingdom which God wanted to give His people. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-10Joshua_Potential_Messiah.htm</p> <p>Isa 7</p> <p> " The pride that apes humility" says all that is necessary. We can appear to be humble, and by doing so actually express our pride. The point has been made elsewhere that a brother may say to a sister full of praise for his Bible study: " It was nothing really, no, not that good" . But if another sister says to him: " I thought your Bible study was nothing really, not much good at all" ; how does he react? Did he <em>really</em> mean his 'humble' words to his admirer? Ahaz is one of many Biblical examples of this kind of false humility. He refused to ask a sign of Yahweh, when invited to, lest he be like apostate Israel in the wilderness, and tempt Yahweh (Is. 7:12 cp. Dt. 6:16). But this was actually a 'wearying' of God, and he was given a sign relating to his condemnation (Is. 7:12,13).</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-13-7Humility_And_Bible_reading.htm</p> <p>1 Thess.  1, 2</p> <p>There is within the Bible repeated emphasis on the fact that we are <em>each</em> members of the one body, and as such have a definite <em>responsibility</em> for each other. We all have more influence on each other than we may think. Quite naturally, the Thessalonians imitated the ecclesias of Judaea and also  Paul personally (1 Thess. 1:6; 2:14). And in turn, they became models to all the believers in Macedonia (1 Thess. 1:7).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/a1.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/a1.htm</a></p> <p>May  18</p> <p>Josh.  2</p> <p>When Solomon describes the painted lips of his lover as being like a thread of scarlet (Song of Solomon 4:3), he uses two Hebrew words which only occur together in Josh. 2:18, describing how the Gentile harlot Rahab hung the scarlet thread outside her home in order to bring about the salvation of her mother and her family. Solomon wanted to justify his Egytpian girlfriend by comparing her to Gentile Rahab. And such sophistry goes on at the beginning of every relationship that leads to a marriage out of the Faith. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/7-3-2The_Song_Of_Solomon.htm</p> <p>Isa 8</p> <p><span lang="EN-GB">The prophets were trying to share the feelings and positions of a God <em>so</em> vastly different to the imaginations and understandings of His very own people. The nervous stress of this, the psychological pressure, can t be underestimated. And we are asked to share the spirit / mind / disposition of those prophets. Not only was God on the side of Israel s enemies; yet through all that, He somehow <em>was</em> with Israel; quite simply,  God is with us , even though it is He who encamps against them too (Is. 8:9,10; 18:4). The God of Auschwitz is somehow still the God of Israel. The very torment, even torture, of understanding that was etched clearly in the prophets, and it will be in us too.</span></p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/15-10-6.htm</p> <p>1 Thess.  3, 4</p> <p>The Lord Jesus sheds His Spirit in the sense of an outpouring of His work and involvement in the lives of the man who has accepted the Lord as his saviour in baptism. After that act of commitment to Him, He builds us up (Col. 2:6,7; 2 Thess. 3:3-5), using other brethren to do so (1 Thess. 3:2). Every visit, every letter, the Lord graciously uses. He does, of course, work Himself on the mind of men, but never totally separate from the word of the Spirit, and never forcing a man against his own will. He succours us in temptation (Heb. 2:18; 2 Pet. 2:9), and guides our experiences so that we grow in true love for each other (1 Thess. 3:12).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-7The_Spirit_Of_Jesus.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-7The_Spirit_Of_Jesus.htm</a> </p> <p>May  19</p> <p>Josh.  3, 4</p> <p>Joshua was very good at obedience to clear commandments (Josh. 4:10,17; 8:27; 10:40). But when he had to articulate his faith in God in unexpected situations, e.g. when the ambassadors from Gibeon arrived, or when the first attack on Ai failed, he seems to have performed poorly. Legalistic obedience is no use in those cases when principles need to be applied. Josh. 5:13,14 can be read as a rebuke of Joshua, wanting to boil everything down to black and white, wanting to see God as either personally for him or against him; when the essence is to seek to discern and do God s will. He very strictly adhered to God s commandments with legalistic obedience, e.g., about how to approach and deal with Jericho, or how to cross the flooded Jordan and build an altar; and time and again, we read in Joshua of how he strictly relayed and obeyed the Divine commandments given by Moses (Josh. 8:31,33,35; 11:12,15,20; 14:2,5; 17:4; 21:2,8).  Yet as with any literalistic or legally minded person, it was hard for Joshua to apply the principles behind the laws to situations which weren t specifically addressed by Divine revelation, where legalistic obedience wasn't what was required.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-9-2Legalistic_Obedience.htm</p> <p>Isa 9</p> <p>The Hebrew word translated " zeal" in the context of God's zeal for us (Is. 9:7) really means the jealousy which flares up in a man for a woman (the same word is in Num. 5:14,15; Prov. 6:34; Song 8:6 etc.). That jealousy burning like fire (Ps. 79:5) is His passion for us His people. He is a jealous God in His zeal for us; and therefore any other relationships cannot be contemplated by us. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/6-5The_Humility_Of_God.htm</p> <p>1 Thess.  5</p> <p>It was accepted in Judaism, as well as in many other contemporary religions, that faithful saints [e.g. the patriarchs, Moses, the prophets etc, in Judaism s case] could intercede for the people. Yet in the New Testament, <em>all</em> believers are urged to intercede for each other, even to the point of seeking to gain forgiveness for others sins (1 Thess. 5:25; Heb. 13:18; James 5:15). They were <em>all</em> to do this vital work. The radical nature of this can easily be overlooked by us, reading from this distance.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/a1.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/a1.htm</a></p> <p>May  20</p> <p>Josh.  5, 6</p> <p>Jesus told the crowd in Jn. 6 that the true manna was His flesh, which He was to give for the life of the world. Some have supposed from Josh. 5:10-12 cp. Ex. 16:35 that the manna fell for the first time on the eve of the Passover, thus adding even more poignancy to the Lord s equation of the manna with His death. Yet all this painstaking attempt to re-focus the crowds on the spiritual rather than the literal, salvation through His death rather than an immediate benefit for them, patient eating / sharing in His sufferings rather than eternity here and now& all this went so tragically unheeded. And it does to this day. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/20-17.htm</p> <p>Isa 10</p> <p>In the context of the Assyrian invasion, Is. 10:20-23 prophesied that  the remnant of Israel , those who survive it, will trust in the Lord alone and  in truth , i.e. in covenant relationship with Him. It seems that all others of natural Israel will perish (as in Is. 4:2-4). This language of the remnant  returning unto the Lord is quoted in Rom. 9:23 about the repentance of the Jewish people and their turning to Christ. Israel were intended to repent because of Sennacherib s invasion (Is. 37:31,32), and then  the consumption of God s plan could have happened. But the prophecy has been reinterpreted with reference to Israel in the last days, repenting finally as the result of the latter day Assyrian invasion.Isaiah 10 speaks of how Israel s affliction by Assyria leads them to repentance; a  remnant shall return& unto the mighty God (Is. 10:21)- and the  mighty God has just been defined in Is. 9:6 as a title for the Lord Jesus. This will be a result of God using the Assyrian invader to  make a consumption& in the midst of all the land of Israel (Is. 10:23). The  yoke of Assyria  shall be destroyed because of the anointing (Is. 10:27)- i.e. the coming of Christ, the anointed one, in response to the remnant returning unto Him. Thus any signs of Israel's repentance, and every sign that the latter day Assyrian is going to dominate Israel, is a sign of the Lord's return. He may soon come- even today. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ld/15Last_Days_Repentance_Of_Israel.htm</p> <p>2 Thess.  1, 2</p> <p>Paul prays that  every desire of goodness which there is in the Thessalonians will be fulfilled (2 Thess. 1:11 RV). He assumed they had such spiritual ambition, and wanted to see it realized. Spiritual ambition means that we will desire to do some things which we can t physically fulfil- and yet they will be counted to us. Abraham is spoken of as having offered up Isaac- his intention was counted as the act. And Prov. 19:22 RV appropriately comments:  The desire of a man is the measure of his kindness . It is all accepted according to what a man has, not what he has not.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-6Spiritual_Ambition.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-6Spiritual_Ambition.htm</a> </p> <p>May  21</p> <p>Josh.  7</p> <p>If Canaan is seen to represent the Kingdom, the things which are stopping us entering the Kingdom are our sins. In prospect, Jesus, the antitype of the great Angel which lead Israel into the land and drove out the enemies in prospect, has vanquished all our sins. When Israel sinned, the help the Angels were giving Israel to help them posess what they had already prepared for them, was taken away. Thus with the first attack on Ai, the Angels had in prospect driven out the people of Ai, but the realisation of that was conditional on Israel's obedience. "Therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, but turned their backs before their enemies, because they were accursed: neither will I (God manifested through the Angel) be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you"(Josh. 7:12). It is perhaps in this context of the Angel going before the people that we read concerning Caleb that "Hebron therefore became the inheritance of Caleb. . because that he wholly followed the Lord God of Israel" (Josh. 14:14)- i. e. he zealously followed the Angel which went before him, and therefore he obtained his inheritance which in prospect the Angel had prepared for him.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/angels/angels6.htm</p> <p>Isa 11</p> <p>As the stone of Daniel 2:44spreads world-wide, it follows that the conditions of the Kingdom such as fertile lands, lack of pain in childbearing etc., will also spread gradually and selectively on earth after Christ's return. " They shall not hurt nor destroy in <em>all my holy mountain</em>" , which will spread world-wide (Is.11:9). These conditions will therefore spread, in accordance with the acceptance of the Gospel. The animals will not fight each other in the " holy mountain" (Is.11:7-9); but Ezekiel's prophecies teach that it will be possible to try to offer a mauled animal in the Millennium. Such an animal would therefore have come from the areas which are not yet part of the " holy mountain" . Whatever the reality, let's think of the Kingdom today!</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ld/29.htm </p> <p>2 Thess.  3 </p> <p>" ...that ye <em>study</em> (be ambitious) to be quiet, and to do your own business...that ye may <em>walk</em> honestly toward them that are without" (1 Thess. 4:11,12).   " That ye <em>study</em> (be ambitious) to be <em>quiet</em>" presents a powerful opposition of ideas;  to have heroic ambition to be quiet;  to be self-controlled, living a blameless spiritual life in everyday things (this is what the idiom of " walk" refers to). In 2 Thess. 3:12,13, Paul returns to this idea: He tells them once again to live a <em>quiet</em>  life, and says in that context: " Be not weary in (such) well doing" . Yet he asks them in 1 Thess. 4:11 to be ambitious to be quiet. Surely he is encouraging them not to be weary in living a life of such ambition. And this is not the only reference to ambition in Thessalonians. Paul praises them for the brotherly love which they undoubtedly had. But he doesn't just say 'Keep it up!'. He exhorts them to increase in it, more and more (1 Thess. 4:10).</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-6Spiritual_Ambition.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-6Spiritual_Ambition.htm</a> </p> <p>May  22</p> <p>Josh.  8</p> <p>God told Israel to totally destroy the spoil from the cities they attacked. But when they failed to do this with Jericho, God told them that with Ai, the next city on the agenda, they were allowed to keep the spoil (Josh. 8:2); even though Dt. 20:14-16 said that this was how they should treat their distant enemies, but <em>not</em> cities like Ai which were part of their inheritance. This was an undoubted concession to human  weakness. The same concession to human weakness applied to other cities apart from Ai; it became a general policy that " all the spoil of these cities...the children of Israel took for a prey unto themselves" ; and yet following straight on from this we are told that Joshua " left nothing undone of all that the Lord commanded Moses" (Josh. 11:14,15). God accepted those concessions to human weakness, this living on a lower level, as total obedience. The grace of all this is marvellous.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-7-1Concessions_To_Human_Weakness.htm</p> <p>Isa 12</p> <p> With joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (Is. 12:3) is applied by the Lord to the present experience of the believer in Him (Jn. 4:14; 7:38). But Isaiah 12 continues to explain how the joy of that experience will lead to men saying:  The Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation [as He was for Israel at the Red Sea, cp. our baptism experience]...Praise the Lord, proclaim his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted . The exaltation of the Yahweh Name, the wonder of it, the sheer height of who Yahweh is, these things and our personal part in them is an unending imperative to witness these things world-wide. Men did not confess Jesus to others, despite nominally believing in Him, because they did not love the concept of the glory of God (Jn. 12:43 RV). To perceive His glory, the wonder of it all, leads to inevitable witness to others.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/5-3light_of_the_world.htm</p> <p>1 Tim.  1-3 </p> <p>Paul saw in his conversion a pattern for all those who would afterwards believe (1 Tim. 1:16). Having said that he was "chief" of the tribe of sinners, Paul goes straight on to say that this "was so that in me <em>as chief</em> might Jesus Christ shew forth <em>all</em> his longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should later believe on him" (1 Tim. 1:15,16 RV). This sounds as if Paul realized that he was being set up as the chief, supreme example to us; a template for each of us, of forgiveness and zealous response to that forgiveness.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-1Conversion_Of_Paul.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-1Conversion_Of_Paul.htm</a> </p> <p>May  23</p> <p>Josh.  9</p> <p>Joshua like many modern Christians was very prone to being influenced by peer pressure and the views and expectations of others, especially in these situations. He told Israel they d done a good job and driven out all the tribes- when they were still worshipping idols, and hadn t driven out all the tribes. Only in his deathbed speech did he face up to the reality of their sinfulness. Ex. 32:17,18 is another example of Joshua s genuine naievity- thinking that Israel were far stronger than they were. He mistook the sound of their idolatrous partying for the sound of a battle; and Moses almost rebukes him for his naievity. He allowed the leaders of Israel to lead him into wrong decisions about the initial attack on Ai, and also into being deceived by the Gibeonites. And yet as a younger man, he had boldly stood up to the peer pressure of the princes of Israel in faithfully declaring that Israel could and should go up into Canaan; when the other princes must have put huge pressure upon him to agree with them. He is described as maintaining  another spirit to theirs (Num. 14:24). The resolution of youth seems to have been somewhat lost as he grew older.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-9-3Peer_Pressure.htm</p> <p>Isa 13</p> <p>The day of the Lord will result in the wicked being " in pain as of a woman that travaileth" (Is. 13:8; 1 Thess. 5:3). The Lord seems to have alluded to this when He spoke of how the faithful just before His coming would be like a woman in travail, with the subsequent joy on delivery matching the elation of acceptance at Christ's return (Jn. 16:21). So, it's travail- or travail, especially in the last days. If we choose the way of the flesh, it will be travail for nothing, bringing forth in vain (this is seen as a characteristic of all worldly life in Is. 65:23). We either cut off the flesh now (in spiritual circumcision), or God will cut us off. This point was made when the rite of circumcision was first given: " The uncircumcised [un-cut off] man...shall be cut off" (Gen. 17:14).</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-9The_Logic_Of_Endurance.htm</p> <p>1 Tim.  4, 5</p> <p>Paul taught Timothy that by nourishing others with good teaching, he would himself be  nourished up in the words of faith (1 Tim. 4:6). Caring for others on whatever level is what stimulates an upward spiral in our personal spiritual growth.</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>May  24</p> <p>Josh.  10</p> <p>Circumstances repeat in our lives. As Joshua had been told to be strong good courage in order to take the land, so he had to tell others (Josh. 10:25). As God charged him to be courageous and obedient to the book of the Law, so Joshua on his deathbed charged his people (Josh. 1:7,8 cp. 23:6). Joshua had faithfully followed, and now he became the leader who was to be faithfully followed. Likewise, he led the Israelites in battle whilst Moses stood on the hill with arms uplifted in prayer for his success. And in capturing Ai, it was Joshua s turn to stand on a hill with arms uplifted [also in prayer?] whilst Israel fought. However, Joshua seems to have somehow gotten out of synch with the Angel when he meets Him in Josh. 5:14 and asks Him whether He is for or against Israel. We must walk in step with the Spirit / Angel in our lives; and yet no matter how much we ve walked in step with Him, we can always allow pressure of circumstances to let us fall out of step with Him. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/4-10Joshua_Potential_Messiah.htm</p> <p>Isa 14</p> <p> The various world empires mentioned in the Bible are described in the language of the Kingdom of God; they are anti-Kingdoms of God. Take Babylon:</p> <table cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0"> <tr> <td valign="top" width="288"><p align="center"><strong>Babylon</strong></p></td> <td valign="top" width="288"><p align="center"><strong>The </strong><strong>Kingdom</strong><strong> of </strong><strong>God</strong></p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>" The golden city" (Is. 14:4) with a thick, embellished wall (Jer. 51:58); springs and rivers within her (Jer. 51:36)</p></td> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>The description of the new Jerusalem in Rev. 21,22 and it's wall, foundations etc. seems an allusion to the city of Babylon; as if to shew that Babylon was a fake city of God.</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>" He that ruled the nations" with an iron rod " ...that did shake kingdoms" (Is. 14:6,16)</p></td> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>Cp. King Jesus (Ps. 110:2; Rev. 19:15)</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>The morning star (Is. 14:12)</p></td> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>Rev. 22:16</p></td> </tr> <tr> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>Desired to be exalted above the Angels in Heaven (Is. 14:13)</p></td> <td valign="top" width="288"><p>As Christ was (Heb. 1, 2)</p></td> </tr> </table> <p>The world around us today poses as a fake Kingdom of God, just as Babylon did. But it isn't. We have to chose between the true Kingdom and the fake one. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ld/a3The_12th_Imam.htm</p> <p>1 Tim.  6</p> <p>We either depart from the faith (1 Tim. 4:1; Heb. 3:12), or we depart from iniquity (2 Tim. 2:19, 22; 1 Tim. 6:5). We re always moving in one direction or the other.</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>May  25</p> <p>Josh.  11</p> <p>Samson went to Gaza conscious that his people had failed to drive out the tribes (Josh. 11:22). Judah had captured it in Joshua's strength (1:18), but had let the Philistines return. So Samson chose Gaza from spiritual motives; and yet he schemed out his plan to enable him to gratify his flesh.  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/5-5Samson_In_Gaza.htm</p> <p>Isa 15</p> <p>We must appeal to men with conviction, as Isaiah s heart cried out for Moab like a young heifer about to be slaughtered, feeling for them in what would come upon them, and desperately appealing for their repentance. Because the Moabites would cry out and their voice would be heard,  <em>my</em> heart shall cry out for Moab (Is. 15:4,5,8). As the Lord Jesus is a representative Saviour, we too must feel the judgment that is to come upon others, and in that sense cry out for them as they will cry out.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/14-3personal_pleading_of_the_prophet.htm</p> <p>2 Tim.  1 </p> <p>Our overall way of life, rather than specific acts of righteousness, is what can be the motive force in overcoming the flesh. Through the spirit- the spiritual way of life- we mortify the flesh (Rom. 8:13). Through the Spirit we keep the truth (2 Tim. 1:14). This doesn t mean that somehow God s Spirit power in a miraculous sense makes us hold on. What it surely means is that if we live the Spiritual way of life, this will of itself enable us to keep walking in the true way. It s not that the temptations won t arise; but our way of life will be such that they no longer have so much power. The temptation to go drinking with the village boys on Friday night is so much less if every Friday, as part of your way of life, you go to study the Bible with someone.</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>May  26</p> <p>Josh.  12</p> <p> Israel finally entered the land under Joshua, a clear type of the Lord Jesus.  The LORD was with Joshua; and his fame was <em>noised</em> throughout all the country (Josh 6:27), the  <em>eretz</em>, or earth, a term which usually refers to the land promised to Abraham. Clearly the whole planet didn t know Joshua had invaded Canaan. Many times in Joshua and Judges we read of the people of the <em>eretz</em>:  For the Canaanites and all the inhabitants of the <em>land</em> [<em>eretz</em>] shall hear of it, and shall environ us round, and cut off our name from the <em>earth</em> [<em>eretz</em>] (Jos 7:9). Here the Israelites feared being cut off from their place in the <em>land</em>. They perceived the world / earth to them as the land where their enemies lived. In Josh. 12:1,7 we meet  the kings of the earth , i.e. of the land, and this must surely be the basis of how we are to understand the references to  the kings of the earth in Revelation. We are seeing before our eyes the rulers of the land promised to Abraham confederating against Israel! Truly the last days are upon us; and today may be our last.</p> <p> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ld/d3.htm </p> <p>Isa 16</p> <p>Appreciating that prayer is so much " in the spirit" , we can better grasp why prayer is portrayed as a struggle. Moab would pray in the time of his judgment; " but he shall not prevail" (Is. 16:12), as if the prayer process was a struggle. Jacob, by contrast, struggled with the Angel in prayer and prevailed (Hos. 12:2-4). The Romans were to strive together with Paul in prayer (Rom. 15:30); the Lord's prayers in Gethsemane were a resisting / struggling unto the point of sweating blood (Heb. 12:2). " I would that ye knew what great conflict I have [RV  how greatly I strive / struggle ] for you...that their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding" is parallel to " We do not cease to pray for you... that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding" (Col. 2:1 cp. 1:9,10). Paul's conflict / struggle for them was his prayer for them. Epaphras likewise was  always striving for you in his prayers (Col. 4:12 RV). Our groanings, our struggling in prayer, is transferred to God by the Lord Jesus groaning also, but with groanings far deeper and more fervently powerful than ours (Rom. 8:22,23 cp. 26). Our prayers are to give the Father no " rest" (Is. 62:7), no cessation from violent warfare (Strong).</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pr/2-3struggle_of_prayer.htm</p> <p>2 Tim.  2 </p> <p>In our daily weakness, remember that Paul too was weak at times. " Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles" (Acts 18:6) seems to be a flash of unspirituality. For later, Paul realizes that he may be condemned if he doesn't preach the Gospel; he realized that he perhaps <em>wasn't</em> free of his duty of preaching. Yet for all his " from henceforth I go unto the Gentiles" , Paul <em>still</em> preached to the Jews (Acts 18:8; 19:8); which would suggest these words were said in temper and perhaps unwisdom. He himself seems to recognize this when he wrote to Timothy at the very end of his life of how we must with meekness instruct those who oppose themselves (2 Tim. 2:25), whereas his own response to those who  opposed themselves (Acts 18:6) had been to say, without meekness, that he was never going to  instruct Jews ever again.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-2-2Weakness_Of_Paul.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-2-2Weakness_Of_Paul.htm</a> </p> <p>May  27</p> <p>Josh.  13</p> <p>The Levites had no material inheritance because " the sacrifices of the Lord God of Israel...are his inheritance...the Lord God of Israel was their inheritance" (Josh. 13:14,33). Notice how " the Lord God" is put for what is sacrificed to Him. His very existence is an imperative to sacrifice to Him, despising all material advantage in doing so. Job comments that to make gold our hope and wealth our confidence is to deny  the God that is above (Job 31:24,28). To trust in material wealth is effectively to proclaim ourselves atheists.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/2-1Practicing_The_Presence_Of_God.htm</p> <p>Isa 17, 18</p> <p>Both vine and fig trees are used as symbols of Israel. It seems likely that the Lord had in mind the figure of Is. 18:5 in mind when constructing Hiis parable of the fig tree. Here we are told that the vine must be pruned and some branches  cut down (RV)- exactly the language of trial and tribulation which Jesus uses in Jn. 15. The result of this will be that  the flower becometh a ripening grape (RV)- i.e. spiritual fruit is brought forth by tribulation (the same figure is found in Is. 17:6-8). And out of all this,  a present shall be brought unto the Lord of Hosts of a people scattered and peeled...whose land the rivers [Babylon, Assyria, in Isaiah s symbology] have spoiled, to the place of the Name of the Lord of hosts, the mount Zion (Is. 18:7). The fruit on the vine corresponds with the repentant latter day remnant of Israel; and the pruning of that vine to their sufferings during the final tribulation. The quicker we help Israel to repent, the quicker the Lord will be back.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ld/14.htm </p> <p>2 Tim.  3, 4 </p> <p>A person can learn the theory of God s truth but never come to acknowledge it- i.e. to repent and life the life of the truth (2 Tim. 3:7), i.e. being transparent before God and brutally honest with oneself.Jer. 5:1 says that  if ye can find a man& that seeketh the truth& I will pardon it . To seek truth is therefore to repent. Those moments of realization of our sinfulness, of accurately perceiving the gap between the personas we act out and the real, Christ-self within us- in those moments, we have come to truth. And this is the repentance that leads to true, authentic pardon.</p> <p>It does at times appear impossible to live a truthful life in a world that is so essentially untruthful and self-deceptive. In Greek thought, and especially that of Plato, there was the idea that all on earth was untrue, but there was another, Heavenly world of truth and beauty. John's letters especially bring out that this is a <em>wrong</em> view. We, here and now on earth, can live in truth. To " walk in truth" means living a life according to the principles of Jesus, who was <em>the </em>truth to us, here in this dirty world of ours. Paul could say that Timothy had fully known his  purpose (2 Tim. 3:10). The Greek <em>prothesis</em> is the same used in the New Testament about the shewbread- the bread openly on display before God. Paul is saying that his essential and real self was transparent, openly shown to both God and man. To say  You ve fully known how open and transparent I am is really quite something. Who Paul showed himself to be was who he really was. </p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/a4-4the_truth_of_christ.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pb/a4-4the_truth_of_christ.htm</a> </p> <p>May  28</p> <p>Josh.  14</p> <p>Examples of spiritual ambition are inspirational; just as soldiers inspire each other by their acts of bravery. Achsah followed her father Caleb s spiritual ambition in specifically asking for an inheritance in the Kingdom (Josh. 14:12; 15:18); and this in turn inspired another woman to ask for an inheritance soon afterwards (Josh. 17:4). And so it ought to be in any healthy congregation of believers. </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-6Spiritual_Ambition.htm</p> <p>Isa 19</p> <p>The repentance of Egypt will be because "the Lord shall smite Egypt...and they shall return to the Lord" (Is. 19:18-22). This is the whole purpose of the terrible judgments God will bring upon the earth in the last days- to bring people to Him. Much as we struggle with the problem of large scale evil, both in our personal lives and in the world, in the end God means to teach us something out of it, and to bring us to Him, to do us good in our latter end.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/judgment/judgment1_1.htm </p> <p>Tit 1-3 </p> <p>The spiritual life renews (Tit. 3:5), giving us that new<em>ness </em>of life, that ongoing baptism and resurrection experience, which Rom. 6:4 promises. This way of life, as it develops, creates its own momentum for further change. If we walk in the spirit (another way of describing the spiritual  way of life ) we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Gal. 5:16).</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>May  29</p> <p>Josh.  15</p> <p>Dan's apostacy is suggested by the way in which he is omitted from the tribes of the new Israel in Rev. 7. Zorah, Samson's home town, was originally Judah's inheritance (Josh. 15:33-36), but they spurned it, and passed it to Dan (Josh. 19:41), who also weren't interested; for they migrated to the north and too over the land belonging to the less warlike Sidonians (Jud. 18:2,7-10). Their selfishness is reflected by the way they chide with him: " What is this that thou hast done <em>unto us</em>?" (15:11). "They had become reconciled to the dominion of sin since it did not appear to do much harm. They could still grow their crops etc." . </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/5-1Character_Study_Of_Samson.htm</p> <p>Isa 20, 21</p> <p>The rejected will have the feeling of a desire to escape but having no place to run (Heb. 2:3, quoting Is. 20:6 concerning the inability of men to escape from the approach of the invincible Assyrian army). The rejected will see that the Lord is coming against them with an army much stronger than theirs, and they have missed the chance to make peace (Lk. 14:31). The reality of rejection, the future we may miss, needs to be held before the mind of every God fearing person.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/5-8Parables_Of_Judgment.htm</p> <p>Phm </p> <p>Philemon owed his salvation to Paul s preaching, and was therefore eternally obligated to him (Philemon 19). If we don't preach to people, they will not be saved; if we do, we can play our part in leading them to eternal life. It's a very motivational idea- that so much , even others' eternity, has in some way been delegated to us.</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>May  30</p> <p>Josh.  16</p> <p>God redefined the boundaries of the land in accordance to what Israel had the strength to subdue; He made account for their weakness. Thus Ephraim were given some cities within the inheritance of Manasseh (Josh. 16:9), presumably because Manasseh wouldn t drive out the tribes living there. And the Lord seems to have alluded to this by saying that <em>we </em>will be given cities, the number of which depends upon our zeal to possess them. God had clearly promised:  Your God, he shall expel them from before you& and ye <em>shall </em>possess their land, as the Lord your God hath promised unto you (Josh. 23:5). But this promise was conditional upon them making the effort, even though that condition is not specifically mentioned. Ultimately, God will  enlarge all the borders of the land (Is. 26:15 RV) because Israel will finally rise up to the spiritual ambition He desires of them.  </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-4Contemporary_Relevance_Of_Ezekiels_Temple.htm </p> <p>Isa 22</p> <p><span lang="EN-GB">The prophets weren t fax machines, computer hardware that prints out whatever message comes into it. There was a personal identification between them and the word they spoke. And that, as now, is what gives human words authenticity and power- when it is apparent that the person and his words are one. Their emotions were God s; Ezekiel even lost his wife in order for him to be able to enter more into how God felt. This was an exhausting task. No wonder they needed this psychological strengthening. The prophets weren t merely informing men ahead of time that God s judgments were coming; rather were they sharing with the people the Divine pathos, His feelings and sense of tragic rejection. The prophets were therefore not mere fax machines; their own feelings were involved in the act of transmission of God s feelings to men through words. Even despite the special psychological strengthening which they received, sometimes the whole prophetic experience seemed too much for them, as it does for us:  Therefore I said, Look away from me& do not labour to comfort me for the ruin of my people (Is. 22:4). The prophets believed their message, to the point that it overcame them with grief that men wouldn t heed them. Is this how we feel at the rejection of our message? Is our testimony to Jesus really in the spirit of these prophets& ? </span></p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/ww/15-10-7.htm</p> <p>Heb 1, 2</p> <p>Hebrews 1 can be a passage which appears to provide perhaps the strongest support for both the  Jesus is God and  Jesus is not God schools.  The writer is in fact purposefully juxtaposing the language of Christ s humanity and subjection to the Father, with statements and quotations which apply the language of God to Jesus. But the emphasis is so repeatedly upon the fact that God did this to Jesus. God gave Jesus all this glory. Consider the evidence: It is God who begat Jesus (Heb. 1:5), God who told the Angels to worship Jesus (Heb. 1:6), it was  God, even your God who anointed Jesus, i.e. made Him Christ, the anointed one (Heb. 1:9); it was God who made Jesus sit at His right hand, and makes the enemies of His Son come into subjection (Heb. 1:13); it was God who made / created Jesus, God who crowned Jesus, God who set Jesus over creation (Heb. 2:7), God who put all in subjection under Jesus (Heb. 2:8). And yet interspersed between all this emphasis- for that s what it is- upon the superiority of the Father over the Son& we find Jesus addressed as  God (Heb. 1:8), and having Old Testament passages about God applied to Him (Heb. 1:5,6). The juxtaposition is purposeful. It is to bring out how the highly exalted position of Jesus was in fact granted to Him by  his God , the Father, who remains the single source and giver of all exaltation, and who, to use the Lord s very own words,  is greater than [Christ] (Jn. 14:28). He was exalted <em> because</em> He was human; and that's why we have to pass through the same pattern.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/20-23.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/20-23.htm</a> </p> <p>May  31</p> <p>Josh.  17</p> <p>That a man should betray the Lord Jesus just for a bit of money is incredible- almost. But this is the iron grip of the snare of riches. And our community is littered with the spiritual wrecks of those who have likewise been snared by their pursuit of wealth, on whatever level. And Scripture brings before us so many others: Hezekiah is one of the more tragic. One reason why Israel failed to drive out the tribes, and thereby lost the Kingdom, was simply because they wanted to take tribute from them (Josh. 17:13). Ez. 7:19 defines  silver and gold as Israel s stumblingblock- moreso than idols. They just so loved wealth.</p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/mm/2-11-3The_Snare_Of_Riches.htm</p> <p>Isa 23</p> <p>Is. 23:1,2,4,15,18 seem to imply that if Tyre had howled in repentance and then been silent and ashamed, she would be  forgotten 70 years and then become devoted to Yahweh. This never happened. Yet the 70 year period is analogous to Judah s 70 years in captivity, also without repentance- although this was what God intended. Again and again, He designs such great potentials for us, and we fail to live up to them. There are things today that He has enabled for us... will we realize them? </p> <p>http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/11-2-3Tyre_In_Ezekiel_26.htm </p> <p>Heb 3-5 </p> <p>Heb. 3:6 insists that holding fast the <em>rejoicing </em>of the Hope unto the end is essential for salvation. Praise isn't just for those that way inclined. It's vital for salvation. Israel fell away because they failed to keep Yahweh's principles <em>with joy</em> (Dt. 28:47). Moses in his final maturity identified this as a reason for the apostasy which he knew lay inevitably ahead of his people.</p> <p><a href="http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pr/1.htm"> http://www.aletheiacollege.net/pr/1.htm</a> </p> <p class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal>&nbsp;</p> <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class=MsoNormal><span style='mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"'><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> </div> </body> </html>