July 28, 2015

Ezekiel 45-48 -                                                                                                                         When you divide up the inheritance of the land, you must set aside part of the land as sacred space for God,    approximately 7 miles long by 6 miles wide.  Within this rectangle, reserve a 750 ft square for the sanctuary with a 75 ft buffer zone surrounding it...To the north of the sacred reserve, an area roughly 7 mile long and 2 1/4 miles wide for the Levites.  To the south of the sacred reserve, measure off a section 7 miles long & 1 1/2 miles wide for the city itself, an area held in common by the whole family of Israel.  The prince gets the land abutting the 7 mile east and west borders of the central sacred square.  This is the prince’s possession in Israel.  My princes will no longer bully my people, running roughshod over them.  They’ll resect the land as it has been allotted to the tribes.                    

These are the prescribed offerings you are to supply:             
1/60th part of your wheat,                            
1/60th part of your barley,                            
1/100th part of your oil,                            
one sheep out of every 200 from the lush pastures.            
Everyone in the land must contribute to these special offerings that the prince of Israel will administer.....  On the first day of the 1st month take an unblemished calf and purify the Sanctuary.  On the 14th day of the 1st month you will observe the Passover, a feast of seven days...On the 15th day of the 7th month, and on each of the seven days of the feast, the Prince is to supply the same materials for sin offerings, burnt offerings, grain offerings,and oil.                                    
The gate of the inside courtyard on the east is to be shut on the six working days, but open on the Sabbath.  It is also to be open on the New Moon.                                
These are the boundaries by which you are to divide up the inheritance of the land for the twelve tribes of Israel, with Joseph getting two parcels....Divide up the land among the 12 tribes of Israel.  divide it up as your inheritance and include in it the resident aliens who have made themselves at home among you and now have children.  Treat them as if they were born there, just like yourselves...                            
From now on the name of the city will be Yahweh-Shammah - God is There.   

Acts 21:1 - 21:26
We arrived in Tyre.  While the cargo was being unloaded, we looked up the local disciples and stayed with them 7 days.  Their message to Paul, from insight given by the Holy Spirit was “Don’t go to Jerusalem.”  When our time was up,....we all kneeled together on the beach and prayed.  Then after another round of saying good-bye we climbed aboard the ship while they drifted back to their homes.  They eventually went on to Caesarea & stayed with Philip the Evangelist, one of the Seven.

After several days of visiting, a prophet from Judea by the name of Agabus came down to see us.  He went right up to Paul, took Paul’s belt and, in a dramatic gesture, tied himself up, hands & feet. This was a warning of what would happen to Paul if he returned to Jerusalem...When we heard that, we and everyone there that day begged Paul not to be stubborn and persist in going to Jerusalem.  But Paul wouldn’t budge & told them that they were looking at this all backward.  The issue in Jerusalem is not what they do to me, whether arrest or murder, but what the Master Jesus does through my obedience.  Can’t you see that?

In Jerusalem, ...the first thing next morning we took Paul to see James.  All the church leaders were there... Paul told the story, detail by detail of what God had done among the non-Jewish people through his ministry.  They listened with delight and gave God the glory.  They had a story to tell too: “And just look at what’s happening here---thousands upon thousands of God-fearing Jews have become believers in Jesus!  But there is also a problem because they are more zealous that ever in observing the laws of Moses.  They’ve been told that you advise believing Jews who live surrounded by unbelieving outsiders to go light on Moses...this isn’t sitting well with them.  We r worried about what will happen when they discover you’re in town...

There are 4 men from our company who have taken a vow involving ritual purification but have no money to pay the expenses.  Join these men in their vows and pay their expenses.  Then it will become obvious to everyone that there is nothing to the rumors going around about you and that you are in fact scrupulous in your reverence to the laws of Moses.  In asking you to do this, we’re not going back on our agreement regarding non-Jews who have become believers...We continue to hold fast to what we wrote in that letter, namely, to be careful not to get involved with activities connected with idols,to avoid serving food offensive to Jewish Christians, & to guard the morality of sex and marriage.”

So Paul did it....The next day he went to the Temple to make it official and stay there until the proper sacrifices had been offered & completed for each of them.