Read Through the Bible with the Barking Fox – Reading Plan for 5781 (2020-2021)

A Statenbijbel (States Bible), Paulus Aertsz. van Ravesteyn, Leiden, 1637. The Word of God – the Bible – is at the heart of the Dutch Reformed faith. In 1619 the States General, the Netherlands’ highest governing body, commissioned a new, ‘pure’ translation, which for use in every church. That is why this Bible is called the “States Bible.” The translation took eighteen years, with every word is subject to lengthy debate, before publication in in 1637. (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, item NG-536.)

What is the longest running and largest Bible study in human history? That is one way to describe the Torah reading cycle that Jews around the world have followed for many centuries. Every year, Jewish families and congregations read through the five books of Moses (Torah), along with selected portions from other books of the Hebrew scriptures (the Tanakh, or Old Testament).

There are many advantages to this way of studying the Bible, such as creating the identity of a “global Jewish congregation” that transcends national, doctrinal, cultural, and ethnic barriers. Any Jew from any country can enter a synagogue in any other country on any Shabbat and know what Torah portion they are studying. Imagine what that has done to preserve Jewish identity during the centuries of exile to every corner of the earth – and how it has strengthened the nations as the scattered Jewish people have returned to the Promised Land of Israel!

Why can’t Christians, Messianic, and Hebrew Roots believers do the same? Why not adopt the Jewish Torah reading cycle, and add to it all the Apostolic Writings (New Testament) and other portions of the Tanakh not included in the cycle? What would it do to our unity as followers of Messiah Yeshua, and to our shared spiritual heritage with our Jewish brethren?

That is the motivation behind this reading plan. Starting with the Torah and Haftarah annual cycle, this plan for the Hebrew year 5781 (2020-2021) incorporates readings from  the rest of the Tanakh and Apostolic Writings into a daily plan that covers the entire Bible over the course of the year. If you are in search of an organized approach to the Word of God, maybe this can help.  Whatever you do, please do get into the Word so that it can get into you!

A Messianic Vision, by Angus Wootten

via A Messianic Vision – B’ney Yosef North America 

[Editor’s note: Is the Kingdom of Heaven coming to earth, or is the Creator bringing all His people to Heaven? If we accept the testimony of John the Apostle, it would seen Heaven comes to earth:

“Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God. (Revelation 21:3 TLV)

If that is the case, then what does the Kingdom of Heaven on earth look like? How does it arrive? What, if anything, can we humans do to hasten its coming?

These are questions Angus Wootten pondered for much of his life. His conclusion was that the Kingdom of Israel, composed of the Jewish part (Judah) and the non-Jewish part (Ephraim) would be restored, with both houses reunited under the reign of Messiah Son of David.

In this article, first published in January 1996, Angus offered his observations on the process of Israel’s restoration. His assessment of contemporary developments gave him cause for concern, but also great reason to hope and work for the ultimate fulfillment of the Almighty’s promises. As for how God’s people can participate in the process, Angus offers a frank analysis and a practical challenge. How have things changed in the intervening 25 years? Perhaps this article will give you a lens through which to assess our present circumstances.]


A Messianic Vision

By Angus Wootten – January 1996

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Adonai [Lord], and of his Mashiach [Anointed One]; and He shall reign for ever and ever” (Revelation 11:15).

How does the Holy One of Israel, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, plan to accomplish this age ending event? How will He realize His Messianic Vision of manifesting His presence – in His earthly Kingdom – in the midst of a united people? To reach this goal it is obvious that one of His larger challenges is “uniting His people Israel.”

Let us examine this challenge as it currently exists. First and foremost we have the almost three-thousand year old division between the two houses of Israel: Judah and Ephraim, originally the Northern and Southern Kingdoms of Israel. This division is manifested in our day by the division between the Jewish people and Christians, or the Church.[1] Additionally, we have the divisions that exist among each of the houses.

On one hand we have the Church divided by laws and opinions into a multitude of denominations and cults with a vast smorgasbord of theology and doctrines. These divisions are a result of generation after generation of forefathers, to some extent, forsaking the covenants of Yahveh, and following after other gods – the gods often being themselves or other men. For this reason, we have a multitude of divisions among a people who are blinded to their heritage and destiny.

On the other hand, we have the divisions among the Jewish people who are blinded to the identity of the Messiah of Israel. While their divisions are not as numerous as those among Ephraim, they currently tend to be deeper. The deepest rift is currently being manifested in the land of Israel between those who are supportive of the government policy of trading land for peace, and those who are adamantly against this sellout of their inheritance for what they see as a vain hope of a fragile and temporary peace.

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Justice the Right Way

Sculpture of King Arthur at Tintagel, Cornwall, England. (MonikaP (pixabay.com)). Music: “Save the People,” by Stephen Schwartz, from Godspell (Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording), Masterworks Broadway, Arista Records, Inc. (P) 1997.

It’s not enough to seek justice, and it’s not enough to seek righteousness. We have to seek both, and do so in a spirit of compassion and mercy. But is that just a government thing, or is it something we can do in our daily lives?

Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9; Isaiah 51:12-53:12; Matthew 25:20-25; Luke 18:1-8; Philippians 2:5-11

Click here to listen to the podcast:

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-72ksg-e83636

Make Friends in the Way

Glen Canyon Dam, substation (left) and bridge (in front of the dam) as seen from the south, near Page, Arizona, USA, March 2010, by Adbar. Via Wikimedia Commons. Music: “Grand Canyon Suite – On the Trail,” by Ferd Grofé, performed by Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Grofé: Grand Canyon Suite; Gershwin: Catfish Row, Telarc, 1987.

What’s more important: reaching a destination, or getting along with others on the journey?

Amos 3:1-15, 9:11-12; Matthew 5:21-26; Acts 15:16-18

Click here to listen to the podcast:

https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-aa4pc-e707bf

Why Care About Israel? Part 2: Because Redemption Does Not Happen Without Israel – Current Events Simplified

We Christians have some understanding that we are connected to Israel through Messiah Yeshua, but often we don’t realize that the Jewish people are still the heart of the nation of Israel. That’s why God has gone to great lengths to preserve them as a people – even through all the efforts of the world to eradicate them over the centuries. Another thing we don’t realize is that those efforts to eradicate the Jews have often occurred with participation of, or at least acquiescence by, the church in its many forms. 

via Because Redemption Does Not Happen Without Israel – Current Events Simplified – YouTube