Tag Archives: Israel

Tread lightly, my son…

I am a ‘abyie-normal'(reference to a statement in ‘Young Frankenstein’ kind of person. I am always swimming upstream in alot of arena’s. Religion is one of them. I will go up against the norm to challenge it to let it stand up to ‘not persecution’ but to ‘pillars of truth’.

I find it funny and at the same time, sad, that it would come to this but it always what happens when something ‘different’ or ‘new’ to someone when it is challenged to someone’s theology or institution.The ‘log’ that impedes our eyesight is that we not ‘see’ but that we haven’t ‘seen’, because we have been “soundbit’n” for over 500+ years thru the channels of the ‘church’.

Let me expound on this, a Pastor is person that is trying to speak to one small snippet of scripture of a theme,human righteousness, a story, or even a exegesis of a few verses. This paradigm is flawed. It is not using a Corporate Narrative to the Word of God. It(church) cannot ever work this way. The ‘Message’ or ‘Narrative’ cannot be told in a million soundbites over countless Sundays.

I am not sure if it possible to do this with any “Message” to the whole world at a level of this enormous level at a time. But what I do believe that as ‘hearers’ of the Word, or the ‘readers’ of the Word, that we(all) can finally ‘see’ the narrative of God’s story. I believe by starting from the beginning of the story and methodically seeing what God is moving the story along to get to his final scene, that Rest will come to Him.

It is the sincerity of the believers that will bring this mission of uniting all of us to the true Gospel to the World. Reading God’s word with the intent of ‘seeing’ Genesis 1-2 as God’s defining moment of His Kingdom. Realizing that God’s plan for all to be indwelt in the Holy Spirit as is His Son, thus given the title “Sons of God” a reality for all.

My skepticism of the current model is with alot of evidence to this reality of the ‘church'(assembly), one aspect of this would be the fact that the ‘disciples’ have no knowledge of the scriptures after 40+ yrs in the building that was supposed to do this exact thing, learn the word! There seems to be no rhyme or reason of the ‘teaching’ of the word, skipping from here to there in the bible, without any obvious relation to each other. Not realizing that the ‘sole’ issue of the bible starts at the beginning of the narrative, Genesis 1-2, has just been a blind spot from the very beginning of the reformation to now. Although, there seems to be some light shining from this corner, that is gaining some steam to see that this is where the story begins and that it is the Catalyst for the rest of the narrative til the final two chapters in the bible.

It is because we have been down the wrong road from the ‘Y’ intersection that we have missed the wrong message of christianity. It wasn’t about ‘trying’ to get to ‘Heaven’, but it was about having a ‘people’ holy enough to have ‘Heaven’ be on earth as the ‘New Creation’ or the New Kingdom of God.

This concept is now being realized in many of the roads outside the corner church’s, and even in some, it is realized inside the church’s. This is the beginning of what I believe to be the light that will have to be seen not only to the christians inside the building, but also outside in the road’s and highways of the world.

What has really surprised me in all this transfiguration of events is that it was not ‘seen’ sooner. When I have read the bible thru my own studies, I, one, have had problems ‘seeing’ the message that I always was given on sunday morning, there was no evidence of it to be seen. Secondly, I was seeing in plain site the real eternal purpose of God in front of me in the scriptures. Which leads me to another interesting observance of God.

Thru my studying and my involvement with other bible enthusiasts, I have had many ‘words’ used to describe things in the bible. One, being ‘hardened’, which was used in another topical discussion. But it got to me in thinking about it and the usage in the bible, especially in the Old Testament, it was used quite frequently for different times that God was having to deal with individual people or an entity of a group. I believe that God ‘hardened’ Israel to not ‘see’ their Messiah(Jesus) during a prolonged time until it was to be a ‘eye opening’ moment for the Whole World to observe in an Act of God to Showcase His Son, the Savior of the World!!

It is at this time, that the World will come to Him(thru Israel) the servant King to unite all(Israel,Gentile) to come and bow down to the God of All!!

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Time for the “Book Review”

The book most recently read was entitiled “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism” by Jason A. Staples.

I would highly recommend this book for the clarity of the terms for “Israel”,”Jew” and “Hebrew”. I would also recommend any book about this subject, you would be surprised by how some things in the scriptures will clear up for you when reading things.

This is another example, where we can get ourselves going down the wrong road with our ‘asuming’ definition of something and you find out the statement you say, is not factual. There are many things as christians that we mean to go back and do some research on terms, definition, stories, paradigms, allegory,literal, types, metaphors, and parables! I recommend that we all do it!

Staples does a very good job of detailing what the people, inside and outside of ‘Israel’ , What prophets meant by their usage of each word, and when it changed to a subset of one, or vica versa. It was very informative to the understanding of even within the ‘Jewish’ community in which they were apart of. Within these three definitions of this said ‘group’ it would change when an event happened to one or all of the group. Depending on when the word Israel was used in could be meaning just the northern tribe, or it could mean both the northern and southern tribe, Judah. This was used in knowing of the original setup, but also of the reuniting of them both in the eschatology of Israel, and their prophets.

A added bonus of this book, was a subset of a theme that was carried out in the telling of the story of these three terms. It was the underlining story of the “Covenant Theology” laced throughout the telling and believing ‘Israel’ that they would ‘all’ be brought back together as one. It is this, that brought me even more assured on what covenantal Theology of God’s desires for All to be “ONE”.

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It’s all about the “Shadow”

I have spoke on this before, it bears repeating in away that we don’t forget.

God is so crafty in his word. God’s usage of ‘shadows’ or ‘symbolism’ or ‘Types’ or ‘allegory’, is so strung out thru out the old testament, which now that we think about this, should point to us that something different was coming that was different and better for God’s creation. God uses his narrative of history and mankind to bring out a story within a story. He is really a good writer, to do this. We are to read the scriptures as a narrative, but also a ‘shadow narrative’ underneath that tells another story of what God is really telling.

One such example that I will show you is a wow moment, but it itself can multiply with the continuance of the same theme to other areas in the bible. Leviticus, is a book in the old testament that is considered to be one of those books that when you read it, it will make you yawn or just skip over it because it is a description or a building plan for a temple which you are not really interesting in.

But it is actually key to know the ‘rest’ of the scriptures, in will allow you to ‘see’ things that you probably never seen before. One such thing is the story of the building of the temple and the detailed clothing of the High Priest. Studying the clothes on the high priest for the Temple in the old testament can then be translated as a shadow of things of the new covenant. The studying of various other things pertaining to the temple and of the high priest, is a basis for the new and Holy people of the New covenant that God is re-birthing his people.

The things that are on the clothes on the high priest are highly symbolic of the people of Israel. It was a representative of who they were and what they meant to God. God was using this storyline of a earthy temple and the intricacies of what the actual ‘temple’ was. Let’s look at what the earthly temple was to get things going. As like the story of Moses going up to the mountain top to be with God. It was the ‘going up’ to God on top of the mountain that was the picture that He was the God of Creation. It was the communion with God, that was key to this ‘Temple’. It was then that the ‘Temple’ was described in Leviticus in a human way, and a human hand. Although it was a sacred ‘Space’, it was only because it was filled with God, and not man.

It was this aspect of the Holiness that was missing from man that God had reformation for him to make the Holiness in everything of the ‘Temple’ and it’s communion. Mankind was filled with blemish, Man was made of clay,Man was of flesh, Man was without communion.

God had to complete Man, make him Holy, it would be the culmination of God’s Eternal Purpose for making Creation. Jesus, the Messiah, the Savior of all mankind. God’s design was for mankind to be holy as He, He was wanting that communion with his creation and all its Glory.

This is the story of God and his creation.

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The Law(are we still ‘doing’ it?)

This subject is one that has been studied countless ways. What is it? What does it include? Is it the 10 laws? Is it 613 laws? Is it the laws of today? Does it include the gentile’s?

At the surface of this question it has many facets to it. We could talk or discuss it for months, but let’s take a different approach to this subject. Let’s go below the actual question and let’s discuss what is the intention of the law by God given to the nation of Israel.

The nation of Israel was the focus of the law, it was because it was given to them because of their selected appointment by God to be for the interest of all the world to stand up and look at God’s people as the light of the world. Israel was being called by God to be the influence that brings all of the world back to Him.

God had laid out his plans for the whole world to worship him as their creator and their God. It was an attempt to ‘show’ the world that God was God of All. God’s people were wandering away from Him and His Kingdom in their journey to know him, their was mingling with the world around them, which was taking them away from Him.

It is then that the God of Israel, put the ‘Law’ into the hands of man to follow and to ‘do’ them right. This was to be a effort by man to come to Him. It was to be a test, a test of man to see if he ‘could’ do the ‘Law’. This is also known as the ‘works’ of the law. It depended on man, and man alone.

No notice the words that were used in the former paragraph in the description of action to ‘do’ the law. The action is all on man. it is of his effort, that it is based on. God’s hand is not in this. God said that if they(Israel) followed the law that God would provide for them and take care of them.

This was an agreement with things on both sides of the table, but it started with man(Israel),and also gentiles in that if they couldn’t do the moral thing of the law that it would still fail as a mankind attempt of following God. This was a huge attempt for man to prove itself on God. But they failed.

Their ‘works’ or ‘doing’ the law failed. It was not because it was impossible, but it was not possible because they were mankind and they were not ‘Holy'(not of God,because of their idolatry of man itself) They were incapable of ‘doing’ the law.

Let me tell you of a secret of mine. I sometimes will do something when I read things in my studies of Theology. I call it the ‘opposite’ view, when I see something that says “You are to do this when this happens”, I will suggest to myself that let’s look at this if it is in the opposite light. So let’s use this ‘opposite’ view here.

The opposite of ‘works’ or ‘doing’ is not doing it at all or not personally working at something, like letting someone else do it, because I can’t. (unable,not capable)

So, now let’s plug this in to the equation from above. If God’s desire was have ‘His’ people to be the image of Him, like He created Him for, then this was God’s actions that have created this to be in motion. It was God’s ‘work’, and only His ‘work’, there was no subcontracting out to man to try and help him out. It was all on God.

The ability of man to follow law(s) was a mute attempt, because they were ‘man’, It was only an execution by God that was to be made. It would be by the power of God only to do this.

Now, let’s take the next step forward, albeit a dangerous one in most eyes of christianity. Let me just put it in form of a question.

Are we still doing this same thing as christians in the form of our ‘idea’s’ on how we should be Christlike?


Should we not stop ‘working’ or just ‘doing’ things that we ‘think’ is the right way to do things in our christian life, but instead letting God ‘build’ His Own Church!!

Let go and Let God.

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Spirit of the Law

I wonder sometimes if we understand the difference of the two things. The Law and the Spirit of the Law.

One easy reference we can use and dissect the two is the Law of Moses and the ‘New Covenant’,the Law of Christ.

These two things are the same on the surface but they are totally different in reality.

Let’s look at the first one, “The Law”, it was given to Moses by God for His people, the nation of Israel to follow and heed them to the things of God. It was a human way of doing certain things that made them ‘stand out’ as a group as being different in the world. The three main things that made them stand out were of their food laws of eating certain things or not eaten of certain things. It was a ‘marker’ for Jewish men to be circumcised to be apart of God’s people. It was also a ‘marker’ for the nation of Israel to have specific religious days and rites to their God. These were all specific and obvious things for the world to notice in their daily rituals. They stood out in this time of society, it was that society was just the opposite in their rituals of obedience.

The second one, being the “Spirit of the Law” was different. It was not of the human ways of doing things, it did not pertain to the ‘ways’ of society. It was to be ‘distinct’ in its coming across to the believers of God, and was a showing of what was of the inside of mankind to just be as God. God’s ways, are different. They are ‘seen’ as coming from ‘above’ actions and beings. This is foreign to us even today, we still believe that we have to really ‘work’ at being different in the world to ‘make’ that difference that we think we have to be. This is what we call the difference between the “old covenant” and the “new covenant”, It is different totally in nature and actions. It is because the new covenant changed things, in realizing that the old covenant could not be fulfilled by the second party(the Jews), The first party, the originator of the covenant, then steps in to fulfill the covenant of ‘being the one’ to fulfill the covenant by doing and being the law. This is the New Covenant being set up for ‘new’ steps for Gods people to just ‘be’ His.

It is this ‘step’, God’s son Jesus, fulfills the old covenant as it should of been, but it showed the Israelites that they to were not capable to fulfill the law, as the gentiles could not of either. They were all in the same boat. This is a plural problem of ‘mankind’ that they were incapable to follow a law or laws. Mankind was/is tainted. We need Help!

Help was on it’s way with the God’s son, Jesus to follow the law, and was the law, so to put the law in God’s hands to be accomplished. The Law as we understood it was now irrelevant to us, because we were and still are unable to fulfill these ‘laws’ as mankind wanted to.

God has now brought in His Son, Jesus to follow, in all aspects of our lives, All of our Lives. For it was mankind that failed, not just a few, or a group, a race, or appointed ones to fulfill the things of God. He is giving all the blessings of himself to all men and women to live in the Kingdom of God!

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Hide my face

This is a phrase that maybe not really understood in the context of the scriptures.

Here is an example of God’s use of this phrase. It is in Ezekiel 39.29

Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.

Another one in Ezekiel 39.7 So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.

This phrase is used in the scriptures is used over 200 times in various ways with God and His people. When used by God it is in reference to His involvement in certain people at different times. The most used one is when He is talking about His people the Israel nation. This is the reality of the Israel nation that their existence was all based on the face of God being shown on them thru out their existence. It was God being for them in all their lives. This is whole identity of Israel and God with the fulfillment of commitment to the Law of Moses.

It is when the Israel strayed away from the law that the Face of God was being hidden from them, as is the breaking of a commitment or covenant of anything.

But it is this ability of God to shine his face in front of us to see that is what we strive for! What is not realized by most is that this ‘action’ by God is for all mankind! See Ezekiel 39.7 above. This was proclaimed centuries ago by the prophets and to the people of Israel, which they did not follow thru on. Why do we not ‘hear’ this from God now? Why do we not want the world to see his face?

It is ironic that when God hides His face, that it is then that Mankind tries to prove its ability to ‘rule’ the world on its own, to utter disaster over and over again. All we have to do is just look out our window, to see this. Our reliance on either governments,leaders,church,individuals,traditions, or simple just denying the relevance of God for anything has led us into a world of chaos.

God’s Face will shine upon us, soon, when we finally look at him as our Lord and Savior and Creator of the World. and we all said “Sooner than later” would be good!!

As Romans 14.11 says For it is written,
“AS I LIVE, SAYS THE LORD, EVERY KNEE SHALL BOW TO ME,
AND EVERY TONGUE SHALL GIVE PRAISE TO GOD.”

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Observations

I am an observer. I have become over the years interested what people say and think, in whatever the circumstance I am in. I listen to people’s conversations on the street, in restaurants, in groups of friends, not just to hear them talk, but to listen to what they are ‘really’ are saying. I have veered off of my original school studies in college of Psychology, but more of a sociology angle of people. Although I was very interested in sociology in high school as well.

This leads me to my love of listening of a plethora of things and topics on Youtube. My playlist covers a gambit of topics that I have chosen to constantly be apprised on. I continually am researching and being aware of things that are currently being discussed, but also the history of things that are always being brought back up for discussion.

My most recent episode of youtube video was a production of someone that decided to venture out on a limb(which I applaud mightily) and ask three individuals of Israel and three individuals from palistine to talk in a setting to talk. The format of the discussion was set up by a host that would ask a question that they would agree or disagree on or just a question of inquiry of state of affairs between the two people. All six people would then walk over to a stool, three stools facing three other stools for a face to face discussion. They could chose to elaborate on their opinion on the question with a rebuttal coming from the other side of the discussion. It was a very civil discussion and very informative.

I have come away with two observations from this video, not about the subjects, but from a more humanity perspective. One, in the discussion after probably thru most of the discussion it came apparent from both sides that the problem of their issue, was that it was the governments on both sides were getting in the way of what the people wanted out of the whole issue. It was like if the people could talk to each other as a whole that they could come to a resolution in a matter of minutes. What was also apparent that these six people were from the opposite sides of conflict in their views, that they were not acting as an enemy after the talks, but were one on one talking with each other about various subjects that they had discussed earlier.

The second observation, was a brilliant move by the creators of this experiment( I again want to stand up and give them an ovation for what they did), their cementing of the end result of what the creators knew what would happen in their discussions of the actual participants of the parties involved, would not be going at their adversarial throats or even attacking each other in hatred. They knew the outcome!

After the questions had all been asked and discussed by all and the answers were satisfactory understood, there was a surprise to all six participants.

They were treated to a formal dinner brought in to them for them to sup together! All six of the individuals said they would enjoy the meal together! Is this just ridiculous? Two enemies sitting together and eating together as if nothing between them mattered! They were after all just eating a meal together! But what about the things that they were fighting about in the real world? They were enemies, fighting from afar and from side to side,they were standing up for their beliefs on the issues. How could this happen, people on the opposite sides, sitting down to eat together!

I want to expand on this last point with a couple of expansions of the point. One of the realities of the discussion is the intrusion of the government into the equation. It is the ulterior motives of the government that always gets in the way of things, but it is the people that are in the middle of things, that seem to not understand the fundamental needs of the people of just getting along with each other and just living their lives. For the people as a whole wish to live together in harmony.

The last point I wish to expound on is what happened at the end of the questions put on the six people of the video on youtube. The Meal.

I can’t enough say that this event is and was a powerful statement to mankind, but even more to the audience of christianity. I will now tell you that we have to go back to the New Testament and the story of Paul and Peter in Antioch of the actual historical confrontation but also the allegoric meaning of this story.

The story of Paul and his mission to the people of Antioch was the harmony of the message was the same within the gospel being taught. A key element was the justification of who was apart of the gospel? The answer was everyone. Jew and Gentile(anyone not Jewish), The chosen people were now not just for the people of Israel but of the whole world. This picture was realized in the actual sitting down with everyone involved in the gospel and eating with them. It was a cementing statement in a picture of sorts.

It is when Peter and Paul both understood this element of the gospel, and their evangelizing to all that were concerned to know the gospel. To really understand this soon to be confrontation in context we have to understand that it was Peter that was considered to be the leader of the assembly in Jerusalem, along with James.

But it is when James and a party of his men come to antioch to check on the people of antioch for themselves and see that Peter quickly arise from the table of the gentiles to sit with the jews to eat his meal that causes a scene. Paul, having seen what had happened, chastises Peter for not staying with the gentiles to eat and escaping to sit with his fellow jews. This was not the gospel! and Paul told him so.

It was almost a story within a story to this altercation. Why did Peter do what he did? Was he only standing for his convictions when he was with Paul, or did he not really believe that the gospel was just for the Jews? It was James and his party that were being put on trial in sorts because is this the way that the assembly in Jerusalem believed. This last part will have to be for a later time to delve into for a separate blog.

It is my opinion in this matter that this was a sign of Paul and Peter going their separate ways of understanding of the gospel. This matter in this story is not often really dug into for the real issues driving the story along. I honestly believe that Paul and Peter were not on the same page of the gospel. There was a divide of the gospel stemming from the ‘church’ in Jerusalem and all the other church’s, especially the ones started with Paul.

We will further talk about this story in coming blogs to maybe clear up some things between Paul and Peter.

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The scriptures were not written ‘to’ us,but for us.

Learning is a funny thing that we struggle with in our normal daily lives. We all do it differently, it seems by how we ascertain information in our brains to keep the good and the bad things of importance. Some information is retained by the ‘seeing’ of the actual information and some is actually retained by hearing the conversation.

The scriptures, alas the ‘Bible’, is a collection of history, personal testimony, revelations, commentary and Holy Scripture from God himself. There is a journey of a people, the Jews of Israel and all their trials and errors trying to be a Holy nation following God. This journey is filled with good and bad things in their existence of a nation. But it is in the bad we must ‘see’ and ‘know’ the reason behind the failure of all people, not just the Jews at this time.

The scriptures were in the old testament(covenant) were a detailed covenant between the Jewish people and their God to work together as one entity. God established his Kingdom among them in the land that he established and they became his people to be united with. It is in this covenant that strict things that were instituted for man, for the Jewish people were selected to be the light unto the world, for when light is shown in a darkened world it does two things. One, it conceals the things that are still in the dark area, which is where the evil is hiding. Secondly, The light is an attraction where everyone should !move to, to see where they are going without darkness hindering them to stumble and fall.

The downfall for Israel( Jewish People) was that they were tainted by darkness in alot of their lives, by actually moving to the ‘dark side’! lol Mankind has struggled in their quest to be ‘good’, their knowledge of good and evil, has led them down the wrong road, in their own understanding. This choice of ‘which God to serve or ‘worship’ has been the downfall of mankind ever since. God is the creator. His work is the definition of Good, He defines it specifically in Genesis 1-2. Everything that created from the Universe down to all the things in the planet that we live on was pronounced as Good. Even the Days were announced as ‘Good’. This was proclaimed so that we might realize that everything was for our benefit of knowledge of God’s handiwork.

God’s creation was good. Yet mankind did, and has put their own definition of what is good in their ‘eyes’ for them to live by. But it is when we deviate from the blueprint of what has been defined by ‘good’ and set our own definition of good, is when it becomes skewed in reasoning. We have spun the meaning of good to our own tastes for centuries, and we have had to live with our definition of good, with catastrophic results on the whole of mankind, not just on our individual selves, which is where we have actually defined the word, as the good for ‘me’. This seems to be really bringing this concept to the forefront to our society in the #metoo movement, it’s all about me and my wants.

With this knowledge of the past behind us in the story of the creation by the creator and our God, we should see that we as mankind cannot set the definition of ‘good’ until we see the root of the word, which was set by God himself, with understanding that only thru God can we be ‘good’. God sets the definitions, not his creations.

The question then is “When will mankind ‘see’ and understand this”?

We shall see, but I hope and pray that it is sooner than later because our definition of ‘good’ really sucks!

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The story that christianity missed

It seems that christianity got off on the wrong foot.

It’s like they jumped into the story right in the middle of the story telling. They missed the beginning. The reason for the story.

Christianity has jumped into the middle, even as the story was being told thru the eyes of Israel which even they didn’t understand.

What was it that made them start in the middle? Was it the feeling that this was when the story really gets interesting? Was it the just the part of the ‘New’ Testament(covenant) that brought them in? Or was it the part of the story that they thought the answer was coming to light, according to them. The middle of anything can always cause trouble when you start there.

The middle of a story, either being told to you, or you telling the story is neither good for anyone. I believe that the most harmful,devastating, outcome of starting in the middle is you don’t know the plan, outline,plot, subjects or motives of the story. With one outstanding missing question in the whole storyline that can be missed, Is who is directing the story.

Christianity has started from the middle of the book, or what is actually the beginning of Christ’s ministry and has assumed the reason on why ‘the Messiah’ is doing what He is doing. We have taken things for granted,assumed, misread scripture because of not knowing the beginning of the story and knowing the strategy that God was doing his works with his people and his kingdom. It is because of this starting in the middle of story, that we seem to be in the situation that we in now. The message has been wrong, for us and to all the world that we have presented ourselves to be.

We are God’s image. We belong in His Temple. We are to be his people. He is to be Our King.

This is what God was describing in Genesis 1,2. It hasn’t changed. This is all that God wants to do, to walk with us in the garden in the eternal purpose.

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Covenant

Has the word ‘Covenant’  been swept away in christianity message of today? Have we only understood the ‘old covenant’ for Israel, and the new covenant to be passe’? Why do we not connect the dots from the old to the new, and see it’s relevance? Do we see God working in everything that was brought in the new covenant? People, places, stories,parables,symbols, foreshadow, all work together to show the foundation of the ‘new covenant’. Our first priority has to be understanding the old first. What it meant, what it was, what it was to God,who it was for, are the questions that we must understand to see the relevance of the ‘New’ and see how things changed but were better!

My heart goes out to all believers to understand in a deeper way the old covenant and what it was. It was not a black and white(1-10) issue as we have made it to be! I pray that as believers we can sit down and look at this covenant of God with his people, and truly see his desire for Him and his children.

And then we will look at the new covenant.

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