Welcome to Home Shalom!

Welcome to Home Shalom and Shalom Farm. We pray your visit here be blessed. We are learning to walk in the Ways (Torah) of our Father YHWH and follow Y'shua, His Messiah until He returns to "set things straight". We call it a "Messi-Life". Our walk is neither tidy nor perfect, but it is filled with passion, devotion and desire to serve our King. We are learning to be humble servants, and to be good stewards of the things that He has entrusted to us: His Word, our marriage, our children, our family, our community, our health, and our farm. Hitch your horse and stay a while--our door is always open!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Understanding the Bible in Context

Someone asked a very good question the other day...that I wish I had the maturity and wisdom to answer better than I did. She said, "How do we know, what has passed away and what hasn't?" That question is HUGE in our faith. It is a dividing line that I believe The Father is calling His Children to really examine in this time if history. If we study History of the Church it is very clear that we (like the priests in the Synagogue in Jesus' time here) have added ALOT to God's Commands. We need to recognize the thin ice that we are on...if God so harshly judges His chosen people, what makes us think He will not do the same to those whom he allowed access to himself later? (Which Paul warns us about in Romans 11) Yes - He is merciful, but He is also JUST.

Back to the question: How do we know?? We study God's Word like our life depends on it...because it DOES! We pray repentance and ask God to remove the scales of doctrine that are before our eyes and helps us to see the truth in Scripture. We learn to measure our doctrine against Scripture not measure Scripture against our doctrine. We humble ourselves to the point of recognizing that we are NO BETTER than the Jews at their worst moments and recognize that it is THEIR FAITH we are joining. It helped us in this "humbling process" to study church history...all the way back to Jesus. Then to start with the Scriptures Chronologically through the whole Old Testament, in context with help from people who understand it;s context!! This is not a small task!! But it is so important...it is the foundation of our faith. We are doing this, with the help of teachers who understand the contexts and cultures from which it was written, from a Hebrew perspective, from a Hebrew understanding. We lack this in our churches in general. As we learned more abouty church histroy and how things "are", we realized it was the common thread in seminary to focus on Greek and Latin not Hebrew. So much is lost in that. As we have done this, we have come to love our faith and our Savior that much more. The more we learn about "the root" the more edified and glorified our God becomes. He has hidden so many treasures in His Word that are just waiting to be discovered by people who are willing to do what it takes to find them. Doing this has connected so many pieces to this great puzzle which were left hanging in the balance before. Things that had to be "swept under the rug" and treated "unknowable" or "irrelevant" before. We have found Jesus so richly illustrated all through the Old Testament. We have found, that the New Testament teachers and most of Jesus' audience were Torah keepers and many things Jesus spoke of where things that where built into the Jewish understanding, by learning these things it makes the rich words of our Savior even MORE powerful. They jump off the page in ways I can't describe. We thought we were "one fire for the Lord" before...now it is as though he took this pilot light of faith that we used to think was "on fire" and HE has joined us to the mighty pillar of fire that burns day and night. I am like a big ol' blow torch. I pray I use it wisely because I mean no harm. But I know my zeal for the truth that is unfloding before my eyes spills out of me at alarming rates and be really overwhleming for people. It is scary (in a good way) but their is no place we would rather be...

We are learning to recognize patterns in God's Scripture that reveal "who HE is" and how His plan is unfolding. We are learning that while the Word of God is infallible the people aren't and His Book records it all. Not everything is an instruction, many things are just records of people messing up...badly. We need to know the difference. We need to know it so well that we can understand the difference between, instructions and examples, warnings and invitations, and above all, literal and parable, poetry and direct warnings, we need to understand the contexts in which things are written, as best as we can. We have learned that their are many "sayings" and references that are very cultural. For instance, we might say, "that is so cool". We know what we mean, but someone who is not from the culture, translating a foreign language easily misses these things in their context and translations or interpretations come out wrong. There are also many instances of double word meanings. If you don't understand the context or cultural setting, it is very easy to misinterpret or translate that word. Until we can learn the original languages, we need to connect with teaching coming from people who are very solid in that.

We need to study, live and love like their is no tomorrow. We need to accept that we will be judged and we need to do everything in our power to understand "the rules of the game", by which we will be judged. He who has ears let Him hear.....

While we use many resources for study, I can not say enough about Tom Bradford's teachings. You can down load them in audio or written text. THEY ARE FREE. IN our over 12+ years of diligently seeking after God, we have never encountered a more thorough, level, solid teaching in our lives. He is dedicated to accuracy. If ever their is speculation he makes sure you know it. If ever He interjects opinion...he tells you. But 98% of what He teaches is solid documentable facts, from a Hebrew perspective. If it is controversial or split understanding, he tells you both sides. If there is something that he can find no explanation too in all his extensive searching, he is not to proud to say so! It is drenched in history and context. It is taught methodically and systematically. It is done starting with Genesis 1 and covering one chapter at a time in great detail. He cross references things as needed, but with great care and precision. This class is not for those who want a feel good, hype session. This class is a long series (YEARS) of in depth study. In the last six diligent months of non-stop Torah Classes, we have learned more solid Scriptural truth then 12 years PACKED with seminars, retreats, sermons, books, prayer meetings, small groups, and bibles studies ALL PUT TOGETHER! How could that be???? You can only find out if you walk through it yourself. I beleive God is calling His Bride closer to himself to prepare for the last days. He is calling His people into Holiness. He has allowed us "milk" for long enough, He wants to prepare His bride, the time is near. For those with ears let them hear. If you have ever thought, you would like to "go deep"; This is the place. If you have a spouse - take it together...trust me...you will want to talk about what you are learning!! (It has done amazing things in our relationship with God and each other!!) Here is the link to info about Him and to the classes. You will never see Scripture the same...and that's a GOOD thing!

About Tom Bradford www.torahclass.com/about.html

Access to Classes www.torahclass.com/studies.html

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