Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - April 25, 2017

Today's Reading:

Acts 10:34-48

Joshua 9-10

Job 25

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Today I will focus on the miraculous story of Joshua, from our reading. What a powerful statement we find here: that Yahweh fought for Israel that day. He heard Joshua's prayer and stopped the rotation of the earth, delaying the advancing of the clock for about 24 hours.

There is an urban myth going around that NASA computers were able to find the long day, thereby proving Joshua's story to be true. But science well knows that this is impossible. We can astronomically determine the positions of the heavenly bodies, but without a planetary clock which has kept record of time since Bible times, scientifically proving the long day is impossible.

When Christians unknowingly perpetuate the myth, they unintentionally validate atheistic jabs at the Word of God. But actually, there is evidence to support the story we read in Joshua today. It isn't scientific evidence. Rather it is historical evidence. Consider the following:

...“It is reported by historians that records of the Chinese during the reign of Emperor Yeo, who lived at the same time as Joshua, report ‘a long day.’ Also, Herodotus, a Greek historian, wrote that an account of ‘a long day’ appears in records of Egyptian priests. Others cite records of Mexicans of the sun standing still for an entire day in a year denoted as ‘Seven Rabits,’ which is the same year in which Joshua defeated the Philistines and conquered Palestine.” (Bible-Science Newsletter, Daily Reading Magazine, Supplement, Vol. VIII, No. 5, May 1978, Caldwell, Idaho.)
The Aztecs kept sophisticated calendars
Additionally, the historical lore of the Aztecs, Peruvians, and Babylonians speak of a “day of twice natural length.” See http://www.zetatalk.com/theword/tword16a.htm; see also Immanuel Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision.” If Joshua’s long day (not “missing” day) occurred—and of course I believe that it did—then we would expect its effects to show up in the historical records of other nations, and that is exactly what we find. (https://bible.org/question/has-%E2%80%9Cmissing-day%E2%80%9D-joshua-been-proven-scientifically)

And there is more archaeological evidence than this to support the Biblical account of Joshua and Israel's conquest of Canaan. Consider Dr. Bryant G. Woods explanation of the find of ancient Jericho, which is now called Tell es-Sultan:

Arial View of Tell es-Sultan (ancient Jericho)

...Scarred with the trenches of past digs, the impressive mound stretches from top to bottom in this overhead view. Jericho is doubly unique: With its Neolithic settlement dating to 8000 B.C.E., Jericho lays claim to being the world’s oldest city; located 670 feet below sea level in the great rift valley, it is the world’s lowest city as well. Jericho’s abundant water supply, favorable climate and geographic location made it a key site in ancient Canaan. Anyone who wished to conquer the central hill country from the east, as the Bible describes Joshua and the Israelites doing, would first need to secure Jericho... 

(Notably) a walled city existed at Jericho until about 1400 B.C.E. when it was destroyed in a conquest strikingly similar to the Biblical account. The 1400 B.C.E, conquest would match the chronology derived from the Bible. However, it is about 150 to 200 years earlier than the time most scholars believe the Israelites were to be found as a people living in Canaan.

City IV at Jericho – the city that all scholars agree was violently destroyed – was a fortified enclave, (shown above)... The city’s outer defenses consisted of a stone revetment wall at the base of the tell that held in place a high, plastered rampart. Above the rampart on top of the tell was a mud-brick wall which served as Jericho’s city wall proper. The approximate line of this wall is indicated by the dashed line.

In the 1930s, British archaeologist John Garstang excavated a residential
John Garstang
area, marked "A," just west of the perennial spring that supplied the city’s water and which now fills the modern reservoir. (A significant portion of the tell was destroyed to make way for the modern road.) Signs of a fiery destruction and his dating of the remains led Garstang to conclude that the Israelites had indeed put the city to the torch about 1400 B.C.E., in harmony with the Biblical narrative.
This photo (above) was taken at the first major excavation at ancient Jericho, conducted by Sellin and Watzinger. On a diagonal at lower right is a portion of the stone revetment wall, rising to a height of some 15 feet; its scale is evident from the man at far right. The revetment wall surrounded the city at the base of the sloping earthen rampart and provided a first line of defense for the city at the top of the slope (see plan above). Atop this revetment wall a mud-brick parapet wall is clearly visible. Behind the parapet, across the center of the photo, are the remains of houses inside the revetment wall on the top of the rampart. These same buildings can be seen on the plan opposite. 

These houses seem to have been on the "wrong side of the tracks" in ancient Jericho; their walls were rather flimsy – only one brick thick. Author Wood suggests that Rahab, the prostitute who assisted Joshua’s spies, might have lived in one of these houses on the sloping rampart between the revetment wall encircling the bottom of the hill and the city wall that surrounded the top of the tell. 

Among the interesting discoveries at Jericho, which support the Bible story, is how the city was destroyed. Evidence at the site showed that both an earthquake and an invading army were part of Jericho's demise. When the earthquake struck, the rocks of the city's walls tumbled down forming crude ramparts, allowing the invaders to climb them, easily overpowering the exposed city. This description, although given through non-Christian, archaeological observations at the site, clearly support the Bible story!  

Once again, even the rocks are crying out to show us that the Bible is reliable.


Monday, April 24, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - April 24, 2017

Today's Reading:

Acts 10:1-33

Joshua 7-8

Job 24

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

In Joshua chapter 7, we read of the sin of Achan and how it effected the rest of the people of Israel. Through this story, we may learn a powerful, biblical principle, which I call "Leavened by Proxy".

Sin, like leaven, permeates the whole "lump of dough" (which represents a group). In Scripture we find the principle of "leavening" associated with Babylon, ending with the warning to flee lest you partake of her sins. In other words, “depart from associating with Babylon, or you will be leavened by her false teachings and attitudes.”

All of us have been in the presence of someone spewing out negative words.  The whole atmosphere is tainted by the "leaven." Thus, if anyone finds himself in such company, while trying to maintain pure faith, that person must leave as soon as possible.  Even then, the godly-minded one must war against the demons of discouragement or condemnation, which come with the briefest encounter. By proximity, the spirit is strained. And by association the same judgments apply.

Here are a few examples to demonstrate the Bible stance on judgment by association. Consider the record of Lot, dwelling in the vile city of Sodom.  When Lot was confronted with impending judgment, he was told to flee lest he be consumed in the wrath poured out upon the wicked, (Genesis 19:12-15).   Had he remained in Sodom, Lot and his household would have met the same fate as the sinful Sodomites, although he was deemed "righteous". 

“Sin truly is a leavening agent. We cannot remain… where it is present, without being influenced by it ourselves.”

 Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you. And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty,” 2 Corinthians 6:17-18. 

The fire that fell upon Sodom and the cities of the plain was mute testimony to the fact that not even ten righteous could be found with-in. Thus, their iniquity reached unto Heaven, and they were purged from the Earth.  

Conversely, to demonstrate how the justness of the many is polluted by the impurity of the few, consider the Biblical account of Achan. During the overthrow of Jericho, the Children of Israel were warned not to take any profit or spoils of war.  To Yahweh, the wealth of this evil city was an “accursed thing,” (Joshua 6:18-19). All the Children of Israel obeyed Yahweh’s command, except one man. Achan disobeyed this injunction and took gold, silver, and a rich suit of clothing from Jericho. These forbidden items he hid in his tent (Joshua 7:20-21). 

With praises to Yahweh for the overwhelming victory at Jericho, the Children of Israel turned their sights on the Amorite city of Ai. So confident were they in the deliverance of Yahweh, that Israel decided to only send a small band of about three thousand warriors to take Ai. But, the men of this small city smote the Israelite warriors, felling thirty-six of them and routing the rest.

Joshua, who was the leader of Israel at this time, tore his clothes and fell on his face in mourning before Yahweh. He cried out to YAH to know why the Israelite warriors had been vanquished, rightly assuming this would have been impossible unless Yahweh were, for some cause,  displeased with His people. Through a process of casting lots, Yahweh revealed to the leaders of Israel that Achan had sinned, bringing this judgment upon the whole assembly. The corporate body of Israel became guilty together,  in the sin committed by Achan.  

But the Children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing: for Achan, the son of Carmi…of the tribe of Judah, took of the accursed thing: and the anger of [Yahweh] was kindled against the Children of Israel…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 be with you any more, except ye destroy the accursed from among you, Joshua 7:1 & 12.

It is because Heaven judges us corporately, based upon the attributes of the “bodies” to which we become joined, that we are warned to choose our corporate fellowships with great care.  

Forming a marriage and family is one way to create such a corporate “body.” In acknowledgement of the seriousness of such a bond, prospective couples are counseled:

Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? And what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath [Yahshua] with Belial? Or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of [Yahweh] with idols? For ye are the temple of the living [El]; as [YAH] hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their [El], and they shall be My people., 
                                                                                    2 Corinthians 6:14-16.

Similarly, spiritual Israel in the last days is commanded to sever all bonds with Babylonish, corporate affiliations. We are warned that such associations, if allowed to continue, will ultimately bring the judgment of Yahweh upon us.

And I heard another voice from Heaven, saying, Come out of her (Babylon), My people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues, Revelation 18:4.



Sunday, April 23, 2017

Daily Bible Reading - April 23, 2017

Today's Reading:

Acts 9:26-43

Joshua 5:2-6:27

Job 23

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Thoughts and Commentary on Today's Reading:

Today, I'd like to focus on the fall of Jericho, recorded in Joshua chapter 6.  The fall of Jericho is a shadow picture of the fall of final Babylon. For this reason, there are many prophetic parallels in this story which warrant notice. Also, since this is a subject which I have already addressed, in Called to Canaan Vol 3, the following is quoted from the epilogue of this book.

Now Jericho was straitly shut up because of the children of Israel: none went out, and none came in.  And Yahweh said unto Joshua, See, I have given into thine hand Jericho, and the king thereof, and the mighty men of valour. And ye shall compass the city, all ye men of war, and go round about the city once. Thus shalt thou do six days. And seven priests shall bear before the Ark seven trumpets of rams' horns: and the seventh day ye shall compass the city seven times, and the priests shall blow with the trumpets. And it shall come to pass, that when they make a long blast with the ram's horn, and when ye hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city shall fall down flat…”
Joshua 6:1-5

After final Israel is sealed in Yahweh’s Name (a process which encompasses the testing and experiences of the forty-two encampments of Israel, as detailed in this Called to Canaan series) the people of Yahweh will go to war against Babylon. The future fall of Babylon is foreshadowed in the fall of Jericho long ago. For this reason, we will now address the prophetic parallels in Israel’s conquest of Jericho, with special focus on the ultimate overthrow of Babylon.

And he cried mightily with a strong voice, saying,
Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour is thy judgment come. Rejoice over her, thou Heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her… Thus with violence shall that great city Babylon be thrown down, and shall be found no more at all, Revelation 18:2, 9-10, 20-21

One powerful parallel between the fall of Jericho and the fall of Babylon is the work of the Two Witnesses, known in the Jericho story as the two faithful spies. As we have already mentioned, in this book, it was necessary to establish a matter through the testimony of at least two witnesses. This requirement was established by Yahweh Himself.

At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death be put to death; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death, Deuteronomy 17:6

Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault… But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established, Matthew 18:15-16.

In Yahweh’s just Kingdom, final judgment cannot be rendered without the work of two witnesses. As only two of the ten spies were faithful, Scripture shows that two witnesses were sent unto Jericho before Yahweh rendered judgment against that great city.

In parallel, there will be Two Witnesses sent unto Babylon as well, foretold in Revelation Chapter Eleven. It will only be after the Two Witnesses have given their testimony that ultimate Babylon will fall and the reign of the Beast will cease. Even at the End of the World, Judgment will not be rendered until the Testimony of the Two Witnesses has been heard.

And I will give Power unto My Two Witnesses, and they shall prophesy a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth, Revelation 11:3

Rahab, a harlot, lived in Jericho, her dwelling crowning the city walls. In a shadow-picture of the final Redemptive work of Yahweh, through the Two Witnesses, we see that Rahab could choose to repent and turn to God, during their testimony. In so doing, she found salvation, as did everyone who lived in her house. In the same way, all who hear the testimony of the final Two Witnesses – and  repent – will be counted among Israel and will be redeemed from the falling kingdom of ultimate Babylon.

However, those who will not heed the warning of the Two Witnesses, but continue to ignore the final call to repentance, will be destroyed. Their Judgment will be as complete as was the destruction of the unrepentant occupants of Jericho. The people who aligned themselves with the wicked city fell with the wicked city. So it will be with the fall of final Babylon.

For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins… He that despised Moses’ Law died without mercy under two or three witnesses. Of how much sorer punishment, suppose ye, shall he be thought worthy, who hath trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the Blood of the Covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of Grace?... Vengeance belongeth unto Me, I will recompense, saith Yahweh… It is a fearful thing to fall into the Hands of the Living God. Hebrews 10:26-31

Prophetically, the Final Battle in possessing their inheritance, was Israel’s conquest of Jericho. This took place in the final seven years! As Bible prophecy foretells, the Battle of Armageddon will be fought and Babylon will fall, in the same way that Jericho fell long ago. Thus, we see that the fall of Babylon will take place just prior to the ultimate Jubilee, in which Yahweh’s saved will enter the New Jerusalem.

Jubilee is the fiftieth year. Fifty is the number represented by the letter, nun (נ). Joshua was the “son of Nun,” Numbers 11:28. This number refers to the restoration of all things, returning us to the unfallen state of the original Garden of Eden. As we have seen in this series, End Time events match the “pattern” given to Moses (Hebrews 8:5), and bring into harmony the wilderness journey, the ministry of Messiah, and the prophecies of the End of the world. Knowing YAH's Ways (Psalms 103:7), we see that this harmony also includes the hidden meaning in the numbers.

From the Book of Genesis, we find a significant key regarding Jubilees. Yahweh ordained exactly 120 Jubilees to the fall of Babylon and the End of the World.

And Yahweh said, My Spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years,
Genesis 6:3

Notably, since old-time Creationists have understood the earth to be about 6000 years old, we find another evidence for the Jubilee cycles to conclude at 120:

50 (years in a Jubilee cycle)
x 120 (Jubilees) = 6000
6000= 120 Jubilees

At the conclusion of the 120th Jubilee, the 7000th year will commence.

The Jubilees also form an interesting pattern of 40’s:
o   40 Jubilees from Adam to Abraham
o   40 Jubilees from Abraham to Yahshua
o   40 Jubilees from Yahshua to the End
= a total of 120 Jubilees

Far more than just interesting trivia, one must note that we have already had one hundred and nineteen Jubilees. The next Jubilee will be the 120th!

Babylon’s fall parallels Jericho’s in that it will not only take place on a Jubilee, it will also happen at the time of the Fall Feasts, in the beginning of the final Jubilee. As we will show in Bible Prophecy, Babylon will fall specifically on the final Day of Atonement – the Day when the ultimate Jubilee begins.

Then shalt thou cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the Seventh Month, in the Day of Atonement shall ye make the trumpet sound throughout all your land. And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land unto all the inhabitants thereof: it shall be a Jubilee unto you… Leviticus 25:9-10

Trumpets are blown on the Day of Atonement to herald the beginning of a Jubilee year. Trumpets were also blown by the priests of ancient Israel as they encircled the doomed city of Jericho. The walls of Jericho fell down at the shout and the last trumpet blast. And, it will be at the Voice of the Archangel and the Trump of God on the final Day of Atonement, on which the kingdom of Babylon will fall, forever ending the reign of the Beast.

To fully establish that the Beast’s reign will be broken and that Babylon will fall on the final Day of Atonement, in addition to the commencement of the 120th Jubilee which takes place upon that Day, we must carefully examine the prophetic timelines. These timelines, largely given by the prophet Daniel, will all play out at the End of the World.

For more information on this subject, ask for your own copy of our book Called to Canaan Vol 3, written by Danette Davis and Shauna Manfredine.