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Tzephanyahu last won the day on March 4

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About Tzephanyahu

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    Bible Study and Hebraic Roots

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  1. Shalom ReneeIW, Yes, that's kinda how I believe it is meant to be understood. This was a type of covenant cutting ceremony that would have been very familiar with Abraham. Typically, both parties of the covenant would pass through the divided animals when making the covenant, as if to say "may the same happen to me if I violate the terms of this covenant". In this instance, only Yahweh passed through the the divided animals, effectively making it no risk promise for Abraham. But Yahweh would not be punished if Abraham broke his end of the covenant, as you suggested. Yahweh would only be at consequence if He did keep His end of the deal - which of course is absurd to think He wouldn't. Another way to sum up this scene is like Yahweh saying to Abraham: "I promise you, as I live, that I will do this. You need only to have faith in me" Love & Shalom
  2. Shalom @ColorfulBlossoming I understand your heart on this matter. Although consider this - when praying the prayer again there are some implications you are making in doing so. The implications are: That you don't trust in Yahweh to answer your prayer That your previous commitment wasn't 100% That you can fall out of the hands of Yahweh so easily Although you may not realise it consciously, these are the implied statements in repeating the sinner's prayer, so it's not good to do this. This is the challenge of faith itself. Praying and trusting that Yah hears and that He will answer - especially if it's according to His promises. Now, you will have doubts and be rolled about by the waves but this is the refining and proving period of life, not the victorious period - that's still to come. Consider how Peter was called to walk on the water and he did, achieving the unbelievable. Then, Peter started to get distracted by the waves and wind and started to doubt and sink. Rather than praying a sinner's prayer, instead he called out to the Lord and the Lord saved him, guiding him safely back to the boat - and the storm calmed. In this same way, in our lives we can have storms and waves blasting us, indicating our sure doom - but we are never really in danger if we trust in the Lord. Indeed, such challenges are likely to be FROM Yahweh to test and refine us, to find out what's truly in our hearts. So have faith. You prayed the prayer and you can rely on that He has heard you. Trust. Still doubt? Well then, blaspheme! Speak rudely and disrespectfully of Him! What? Are you so certain that He is eager to hear every word when you are being sinful, but blocks His ears when you pray earnestly to Him? Therefore, trust in His goodness, not your weaknesses. Focus on the Lord and not the waves (easy as that sounds!) Why not? Are you waiting to be a better person before you serve Yahweh? Time is so short my friend, so short. I'm in need of a lot of work myself. I have a quick temper, I can be isolated, I can be selfish, I can stubborn and there are probably more things I don't realise! Nevertheless, I serve Yahweh in any way I can, in the way I feel He leads me (also in apologetics and exposition). So if you WANT and FEEL like you could serve in that way, do it my friend. Don't wait to feel better about yourself. You might only feel better when you are doing what you are suppose to be... No, I doubt it's satan. Like I said before, he has bigger stuff going on right now. An evil spirit? Possibly. Spiritual Warfare is a real thing. Or are these waves created by Yahweh to refine you? Consider Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light and create darkness, I make peace and create calamity; I, Yahweh, do all these things". Meditate upon this Scripture - when reading it gives you great peace, then you have understood it. In either situation, Spiritual Warfare or Yahweh's Refinement, the solution remains the same. Have faith in His words and promises, seek His will in the Scriptures, honour Him with words and deeds, and offer a continued sacrifice of thanksgiving to Him. Love & Shalom
  3. Shalom Chuck, There is a great set of videos on Youtube you can work through by the Bible Project - example here. They cover all the books of the Bible, some useful concepts and even word studies. Perfect for young an old alike, and their doctrine is sound. This will give you a platform to jump off in your study together. As for approaching the Bible itself, I have found that the best way for the first study is to understand the epic of Israel's story. This will bring a nice crescendo to the New Testament. If you just drop in at the New Testament, he'll probably go on to have a lot of questions and definitely less understanding. Therefore, I tend to recommend this route for the first read through: Genesis Exodus Deuteronomy Joshua Judges 1 & 2 Samuel 1 & 2 Kings Ecclesiastes - This will leave the Old Testament hanging in the air needing a solution... Luke Acts Romans 1 Peter Revelation This will give your nephew the complete story, as basic as possible. It will also give him the blueprint of a timeline to fit in the prophets for a second read through. I'm currently developing a Bible Guide website. It's not quite ready yet, but if you have any specific questions on certain books, I might know of some more resources that could help. Love & Shalom
  4. Shalom @ColorfulBlossoming Interesting, you may be facing such challenges to really test your faith, if you are destined to be an apologist... I would stop doing this. Have faith, my friend. If you have prayed it once and meant it, there's no need to do it again. My advice is to stop doing this as you will get you into a pattern of thinking you are losing salvation or even "earning" back by praying again. Don't concede to the temptation to do so. Stand strong with faith in the goodness of Yahweh. This sentence shows a lot of confusion my friend. You clearly believe in God and and love the Lord Jesus. That technically makes you a believer. I personally don't think you are being attacked by the devil. I think he has bigger fish to fry at this time. But your faith is suffering and it could be as a result of spiritual warfare or even directly from Yahweh. The good news is, in both cases, the fear and confusion will go the more your read and study His Word - which will give you similar situations, remind you of His promises, put discipleship into perspective and build your faith. Not just the New Testament, but the Old Testament as well. For the New makes less sense without the Old. Have faith my friend, have faith! This is a big challenge for you which may even get worse before it gets better but it will get better if you hold strong to your faith and do not doubt. As I said, this might be a training camp in preparation of your ministry as an apologist (in which your faith will be challenged regularly). Therefore, take courage and show Yahweh how much you love Him by having faith in His promises through the Lord Jesus. Recommended reading plan: Luke, John, Acts, Romans, Ephesians, 1 Peter, Revelation, Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, 1 & 2 Samuel, 1 & 2 Kings, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezra, Nehemiah, Zechariah and Matthew. Then go through again but read every book with a guide to help you. Let me know if you need links to resources for this. Love & Shalom
  5. Shalom @lattelily Suppose you have two children - Sam & Tim. You instruct them to behave whilst you are away and to not be rude to the babysitter. Whilst away, you watch a live CCTV of your home to observe the children. Sam was paranoid about being rude to the babysitter and, in panic, even said things irrationally whilst trying to fight the urge to misbehave. However, Sam was very saddened in her heart that she had unintentionally misbehaved and sat worrying in her room that she upset you, terrified at what you might say. Whereas Tim was rude to the babysitter, and felt no remorse whatsoever - thinking he was safely removed from your sight. He proudly stood by his actions and words without fear for your words. When you return home, which one do you discipline? Would you punish Sam like you would Tim? Yahweh is not unreasonable, nor is he jumping at the chance to catch you out! He understands things in context and He understands the heart. Our flesh can be excited to sin and rush to disobey Yahweh at the first chance it gets. But the key issue is the heart. If your heart wilfully sins and and blasphemes, then you are in trouble - but in such scenarios you wouldn't be scared but oblivious. So don't get convinced by the foolish acts and desires of the flesh. Trust in Yahweh. If when I, a mere man, read your message empathetically and in context, how much more the all loving and merciful God? "We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin." ~ Romans 7:14-25 Love & Shalom
  6. Shalom @Repose A person receives the Holy Spirit as a gift. It cannot be earned, other than true repentance and acknowledging the Lord Jesus, as the son of Yahweh, and His atoning sacrifice for our sins. I wouldn’t say so. If you are unsure, as I once was, I would assume that you haven’t got the Holy Spirit with you. Seek to be baptized with Spirit above all things. When it does happen, you’ll know and feel different. You will no longer be wondering about the matter. You’ll know. Now, it might take a day, weeks, months or years – but seek this baptism above all things. There is nothing more important. When the time is right, you will receive the Holy Spirit, only don’t keep seeking, asking and praying until it happens – and don’t settle until you are certain that it has happened. Love & Shalom
  7. Commandment 1 is in Deut 6:5. Commandment 2 is in Levi 19:18. If you're referring to the new commandment in John 13:34, that was not love your neighbour as yourself, part of the great two, but "love one another, as i have loved you". This was about the church. Whereas the example he uses for neighbour in a parable was practically a stranger. Then you haven't understood following the Torah by Spirit. I'm concerned if you have no part in them though, as even secular society still has a part in some of them. But I've been in this loop with you before, other one. I don't think there is much point going through it again. We can probably both predict how we will respond by now! If it works for you, it works for you.
  8. Strange way to phrase it, as those two are in Torah, and are also the sum of the ten. Not new commands or like "HIS two". Probably just bad phrasing.
  9. Shalom Maryjayne, Be very cautious surrounding this subject. You will have Christians tell you to just start flapping your lips about and mumble anything and eventually you will "find your tongue". This is not Biblical but, interestingly, closer to occult practices. That said, I have no reason to suspect anyone who teaches you so - they are probably a victim of misleading teaching. Tongues in the Bible is primarily a gift to communicate coherently with people of different languages. See it as a reverse of what happened at the Tower of Babel back in Genesis. It's not just to speak with them and see if they would like a cup of tea though, it's to extol Yahweh and the Messiah, sharing the gospel without hindrance of a language barrier. In the instances I have encountered the gift in others, they have simply started to speak but the language was suddenly foreign to them - almost like autopilot. Not thought or premeditation in forming the words or sentence structure was present. They simply speak and the words are another language. A miraculous wonder. Now, there are some who say they speak in tongues in church, by make repetitive bumbling sounds, typically with multiple syllables and demonstrating foreign languages sounds. But they seem to all lack the syntax, staccato and simplicity found in languages worldwide. Some claim they are speaking in the tongues of angels in doing these sounds - it's possible, and I shouldn't judge, but I don't buy it - personally. Although I do believe they are being genuine with their conviction on the matter. The point you need to know is that not everyone is given the gift of tongues and it isn't THE sign that you have the Holy Spirit within. You might never speak in tongues or, one day when necessary, you may suddenly speak in tongues to someone in need of the gospel. Either way, it's not a gift to get distracted with. With this mindset, please read 1 Corinthians 12-13 if you have the time. There is something much more important I want to speak to you about though. You really aught to pray out loud. Not necessarily loudly, but out loud. True, Yahweh knows what's in our hearts but a common principle in the Bible is praying out loud, not just in our minds. this may be because it's... For your benefit - To help you formulate and compose your thoughts to Yahweh. Thoughts can be longwinded, irrational, scattered, indirect and without a defined beginning or end. A prayer aloud is very precise and with a clear beginning and end. It also helps you know that when it comes to pass you can be like "Awesome! that's what I asked for!" as opposed to "Was I thinking that the other day?" For Yah's benefit - If He can read your heart and listened to the desires of all your thoughts, would you want Him acting upon every one of them? Speaking aloud to Him makes it clear when you are ready to approach Him with a request. Like making it a formal thing and not a thought which you might just be playing around with in your head. For being like your Father - Yahweh speaks things into being. His very words create things to happen. We are created in His image and so we should realise our words have power - although not to Yah's level! But think how a kind word from someone can make you giddy and blush and cheer up your whole week. Or how a harsh word can anger and sadden you and ruin your whole day. Our words have the power to bless or curse people in this way. So who knows what power is behind our spoken words when requesting from the Father in the name of the Lord? Who knows how we may bless Him, even in a small way, with our words of praise? Consider it like this - imagine you had a husband who asked your questions in his head or would only compliment you with thoughts? Anniversaries would be a blast! Hehe. I hope this encourages you to pray aloud. I'm sure the Father has paid attention to your heart and your needs, but speaking to Him aloud would be so much better for all. Any of your chosen words of prayer and praise, however simple, would mean far more to Him than hundreds of words in tongues, I'm sure of it. Love & Shalom
  10. This verse is in reference to abstaining from eating and drinking on certain days, feasts, new moons and sabbaths, as was the practice of some at that time. Paul is said "let no man" judge you on such matters. The emergence of the church, and it's integration with the Jews, brought a lot of conflict over Jewish ceremonial and traditional laws, such as who was doing sabbath "correctly" and who was eating or fasting when they "should" etc. If Yahweh was going to annul the Sabbath, I'm sure He would have had the Messiah tell us and the apostles talk about it clearly. But let no man think that the great commandment of Yahweh (which began before Israel existed) was annulled by Paul in a short sentence, in a little letter to the church at Colossae! That's madness. The Sabbath command runs throughout the Bible, starting in Genesis 2:3 "God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, for on it he rested from all his work of creation".... Until Paul came along in the first century and casually revealed to Colossae that it's not worth bothering with? I guess the Messiah forgot to give us the heads up as well? Oye... "....our dear brother Paul also wrote you with the wisdom that God gave him. He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." ~ 2 Peter 3:15-16 I'm not having a go at you personally R.Hartono. We are ALL victims of misleading teachings and traditions in this day an age. I was convinced the Sabbath wasn't important for a long time until I read the Bible cover-to-cover, at face value, and ignored traditional interpretation. Then the truth was very clear and there were no "tricky passages" in the Bible to contend with. Traditions..pfft! The very same issue Paul was battling against in his day when writing to Colossae. Why do we let men interpret Scripture for us? Why do we follow the masses, as if there is safety and wisdom there? Again, nothing personal R.Hartono. I hope you see I'm venting against traditions, man-made doctrines and misleading teachings, not you my friend. Love & Shalom
  11. Tzephanyahu


    Shalom @Leets Tricky situation. My heart goes out to you. I would advise posting this matter in the prayer request section. It's very hard to give advice on a family issue with little idea of context and history etc, and this sounds like a delicate situation. I think it would be wise to seek the Father for an answer, through one of our prayer warriors, or perhaps ask them to join you in prayer for divine intervention into the matter. Love & Shalom
  12. Shalom @Tyler22 There are always answers. Can I ask, what is the biggest barrier for you in terms of believing? If you had to choose say 3 main reasons why it's tough to truly believe, then perhaps I can offer some advice? Love & Shalom
  13. I know the feeling. It's very difficult to maintain patience when under great pressure - especially from people that know how to wind you up! Don't beat yourself up too much if your snap. You are only human and the flesh gets irritable very quickly - misleading our spirit in turn. The best thing to do is apologise to the parties you have overreacted to. Explain that it was wrong of you to lose your cool and that you need to work on your temper. I think this is the best way. In doing so, it kinda reminds me of these words from the Lord... "What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ 'I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. Which of the two did what his father wanted?...” ~ Matthew 21-31 Therefore, I believe that doing the wrong thing in the heat of the moment (in this case overreacting) is forgivable and understandable by the Father, if later you correct your course. As for how to stop it happening in the future, I wish I had a full-proof method for you. However, it may help to see the situation and person soberly or objectively - trying to see them as the Lord might. Maybe even visualise the moment playing on a big screen before you and Yahweh on judgement day, and then try to consider your actions and reactions with that view, in real time. I hope that helps. Love & Shalom
  14. Shalom MaryJayne, I hope you're well sister. The Bible is very contextual in Hebrew and so I think it's always advisable to have multiple translations to hand. The real issue lies with which manuscript the New Testament is based upon. There are two main divisions - Textus Receptus and Nestle-Aland. Personally, I believe it can be proved that the Textus Receptus is the original. It certainly contains more than the Nestle-Aland manuscripts - which most modern translations are based upon. That's another subject. The translations I recommend are: NKJV - (Textus Receptus) - A modern language version of the KJV. Very reliable. My "go to" translation (until I learn Hebrew!) NLT - (Nestle-Aland) - A great translation for understanding the emotions and heart in Scripture. Not 100% accurate but certainly a helpful read. CSB - (Nestle-Aland) - A recent one for me which I'm enjoying greatly. The footnotes are super helpful for ambiguous translation points. NIV - (Nestle-Aland) - I only use this for an audio bible, which David Suchet reads perfectly. Not a great fan of the translation though. NOG - (Nestle-Aland) - A good translation which integrates the name of Yahweh and His titles (Elohim, El Elyon, El Shaddai) back into their rightful places through. Great for study. I hope that helps somewhat. Love & Shalom
  15. That's what makes it fun for me! In such moments you are at the school of the Holy Spirit, running you through what you need to know and address. Look at it this way - if you were learning martial arts from a master in the mountains, he might shout at you, strike you or work you to exhaustion. But is he doing it because he is unkind and wants to upset you? No, it's for honing, enhancing and refining your skills to make you a better fighter - a disciple of his school. In the same way, the Bible is not just a book containing the truth of the Universe, but it's also you personal training manual. What is highlighted to you today will not be tomorrow, and what is highlighted tomorrow is not right to be highlighted today. The Word is alive! Cherish each moment with it. Studying it is a form of worship. Love & Shalom
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