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Nailed to the Cross

Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;

Colossians 2:14 (KJV)

Handwriting of ordinances – There are predominantly two interpretations that rise from these words. One supports the doctrine that is enforced all throughout the entire Bible, from Genesis to Revelation; the curse or debt incurred is nailed to the cross by the grace of God. The other interpretation is that the law itself, the teachings of God, are nailed to the cross. So which is it?

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A Message of Leadership

A VERY LARGE OAK was uprooted by the wind and thrown across a stream. It fell among some Reeds, which it thus addressed: “I wonder how you, who are so light and weak, are not entirely crushed by these strong winds.” They replied, “You fight and contend with the wind, and consequently you are destroyed; while we on the contrary bend before the least breath of air, and therefore remain unbroken, and escape.”

The Oak and the Reeds, an Aesop fable

I often think about the leadership of communities and their unwillingness to change or grow. This Aesop fable is a particularly good example of this message.

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Stop Asking and Start Acting

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6 (KJV)

Oppressed – When we fast, we often times ask God to perform some sort of action in our lives. We’re afflicting ourselves in attempted humility and beseeching our Creator’s help. But in Isaiah 58, God turns it around on us. Rather than doing what we ask, He asks us to do something else instead.

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Food isn’t the Focus

Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the feasts of the Lord, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my feasts.

Leviticus 23:2 (KJV)

Feasts – The Lord really loves a good meal, doesn’t he? When reading this, I’m quite impressed by God’s desire for us to partake in meals together. But just after this, He mentions that the 7th day Sabbath is one of these “feasts.” How does that work? There’s no Sabbath instruction about holding a feast.

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Become as Little Children

And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Matthew 18:3 (KJV)

Converted – It took our study group 1.5 hours to get through 8 verses in Matthew 18. I had read these verses time and again, but never actually dug into them. The results of our conversations last night left me in deep thought about something most of us merely pass by.

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Sabbath Day’s Journey

Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day’s journey.

Acts 1:12 (KJV)

Sabbath day’s journey – Wow, that sounds like a long distance, doesn’t it? Walking from the Mount of Olives to Jerusalem must have taken a very long time. A Sabbath day’s journey appears to be no small effort. Or is it? A “Sabbath day’s journey” is a very Jewish term and probably lost on most Christians today. Let’s dig in.

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Signs of the End

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Matthew 24:3 (KJV)

Sign of the end – In Matthew 24, the disciples of Yeshua approach him asking about the signs of his second coming and the end of the world. Yeshua begins to break it down for them in a way that is vividly familiar to every Jew. He lists several signs that we should watch for. Each of these signs are curses for not keeping the law of God. Interesting!

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Synagogues, Not Churches

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

James 2:2 (KJV)

Assembly – James is the brother of Yeshua. He was also the most influential leader of Yeshua’s believers in the 1st century after the death and resurrection of Yeshua. As the leader of the “Christian” sect of Jews, he even instructed Apostle Paul to bring a sin offering to the temple under the law of the Nazarite vow (Acts 21:26), and Paul obeyed. Despite all of this, little is mentioned of him.

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