Tag Archives: glory

Numbers 10 – Israel Go

The time has come,
The time is now.
Just go, go, go!
I’ll tell you how.

Silver trumpets sound,
That’s when all will know;
Time for battle or for feast,
Leaders meet and the nation go!

When the tabernacle cloud arise,
Or the pillar as of fire go by night;
As it leaves from that place,
All Israel move out at its sight.

Each tribe in its place,
Goes out in its way.
The people know it’s time,
Whe’r by night or by day.

They move on out,
All tribes in formation;
As a cross they proceed,
The Israelite nation.

Only YHWH does know,
Where their steps will all lead.
So the people with faith,
Do trust and concede.

Following cloud or fiery pillar,
The people proceed;
With faith and with hope,
YHWH’s all that they need.

When the time has come,
For the nation to settle;
The icon they follow,
Drift down as a petal.

Now the nation does rest,
Where cloud & fire remain.
Will they stay in peace,
Or will they go on and complain?

The time had come,
The time had went.
The people of Israel,
Had gone as been sent.

 

The introduction was adapted from Marvin K Mooney Will You Please Go Now! by Dr. Seuss 

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Numbers 6 – Blessed

I really like this chapter of Numbers.  In it we see the law of the Nazirite.  It is a special vow that a man or woman may make in order to dedicate him or herself to the Lord / YHWH for a period of time.  With this vow, he abstains from any alcohol or strong drink; there is to be no drinking or use of vinegar, not even grape juice or fruit of the grape vine of any kind can be consumed.  During this time of dedication no razor shall go over his or her body.  The hair should continue to grow long.  He shall not touch anything unclean for he is holy to YHWH.  If somehow unintentionally or out of their control he or she becomes defiled, then he has to become clean once more and start all over again.

The Nazarite vow is not necessarily an easy task, but it is meant to set someone aside to be holy and dedicated to the Lord / YHWH for a time.  At the end he shall make an offering and shave his or her dedicated head of hair.  Then he or she is free to drink of the vine.  I honestly believe that every person should, at some point in their life, go through something similar to this Nazarite vow.  Every man and woman should set themselves aside for a time to be holy to YHWH.  To pursue Him and to be holy in His sight.  I believe that this should be something that we do on a regular basis (like fasting) to help us to be holy and line our lives back up with YHWH.

The last six verses of this chapter, especially verses 24-26 are absolutely beautiful.  They are a blessing that YHWH gives to Moses to give to Aaron to speak over the people of Israel.  It is YHWH’s blessing to the people:

The LORD bless you, and keep you;

 The LORD make His face shine on you, 
And be gracious to you;

 The LORD lift up His countenance on you, 
And give you peace.

In the copy of the Bible that I am writing I wrote the English NASB translation of the verses that make up this blessing, then from right to left (sentences & words) i wrote out the Hebrew transliteration.  It looks something like this:

The LORD (YHWH) bless you, and keep you;

ramahs HWHY karoB

 The LORD (YHWH) make His face shine on you,
And be gracious to you; 

nanahc le’ myinap HWHY erO

 The LORD (YHWH) lift up His countenance on you,
And give you peace.

molahs mwus le’ myinap HWHY ‘asaN

This is such an amazing blessing.  When you break it down piece by piece, there is so much here that i could write 3-4 posts on this blessing itself.  If you love to study God’s work like i do, then do a deep study of this blessing / these blessings.  It is an amazing three verses of scripture.

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 27 – 2 – The Beginning Ends

I have a hard time writing about this section.  I don’t know why.  It is such a rich section of the scripture with beauty, majesty, & strength.  I look at this section of scripture and it seems like time is slowing down and almost coming to a standstill.  Like if you could be there, you could almost see every drop of blood and hear the cry of every vulture.  It’s almost like every bit and piece of reality is slowed down and magnified.  Like all of life and time itself has been preparing for this moment and is now holding its breath in anxious anticipation of this, the very moment that it exists for.  Distantly, in the background, “ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” ringing through all of reality.  The flutter of the wings of a bird; the racing heartbeat of a little boy; the sound of the laughter of the roman soldiers slowing down as a moment is extended into five.  It is almost deep and primal, and then… it is done!

Jesus, the Christ, has died!  The heaven’s mourn.  The Father / YHWH tears His veil, as the priest had torn his robes only hours before.  The very earth and rocks cry out.  They expel the very bodies of the dead righteous, just as the blood of righteous Able called out to YHWH from the ground that had swallowed him up from the hands of Cain.

Nothing else matters in all of history and time, as what happens in that very moment when “Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.

… except maybe what happens on the third day

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Matthew 17 – Metamorphosis

Things are beginning to change (even more).  The disciples have seen and gone through so many things with Jesus.  They have even begun to change (metamorph) and have done things they could never have imagined being able to do before.  Yet the wonders never cease!  Here they go again.  Back up to the mountain to get away and spend some time in prayer.  Yet again, all their expectations are going to be blown apart by reality.  Jesus and His inner circle three go, pray, and there they become a part of something never seen before by human eyes.  Jesus was transfigured / transformed / metamorphosed in front of them.  He is no longer the “Man” that they have known Him to be.  What’s more, not only is Jesus there, but so are Moses and Elijah.  How they knew that it was Moses and Elijah i have no idea.  The text does not tell us, but there it is, the disciples meeting Moses and Elijah face to face!  It’s interesting, the three disciples see the three transfigured, one of whom is one part of the trinity.  Maybe  there’s more here to look at?

So the disciples bear witness to this transformation of the son of man, and a voice from heaven says, “This is my beloved son with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!”  Wow!  To have been there!

We go on through the chapter and we see yet another transformation.  A man comes and falls at Jesus feet begging for healing for his son.  The disciples had not been able to heal the child (another message for another time), so he came to the Source, Jesus.  So Jesus brings transformation into the life of the little boy and the father.

Are we experiencing and living out transformation?  Are we being metamorphosed by the Holy Spirit, or do we look similar now to how we did before we met Christ.  Before we accepted and began to live out the gospel (good news) of Christ?  What new metamorphosis still needs to happen?

John Camiolo

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Matthew 14 – John, Jesus, & Peter

It’s quite the statement when someone who kills you, hears about the Son of God doing amazing things and preaching & teaching, and thinks it is you risen from the dead.  Not that John the Baptist would really appreciate the irony of the situation so much.  But it certainly does make a statement.

This chapter focuses the mental camera on Jesus, the Christ,  by panning through John, Jesus, and Peter.  Attention is brought to the fate of John the Baptist, who must decrease while He (Christ) must increase… decrease is right.  Herod, who had arrested him for speaking out against him, had been keeping John alive in prison because he was struck by what John said, and Herod would bring him out to listen to him from time to time.  However, Herodias, Herod’s wife who did not like John speaking against her, had wanted John dead, but Herod was unwilling to do it.  So on Herod’s birthday, Herodius’ daughter, Salome, danced for him.  He offers her whatever she wants, she asks for the head of John the Baptist on a platter, and as much as he doesn’t want to do it, he does it to fulfill his promise before his guests.

So Jesus, in mourning, goes to a secluded place to find rest / peace, but He finds none.  The crowds arrive there before He does.  Even in mourning, He still minister’s and leads.  Then He feeds the crowds… or at least He blesses the food and tells the disciples to feed the people.  As a result, 5,000 are fed from five small loaves and two fish.  Afterwards He sends the disciples away in a boat, and He sends the crowds home.

Finally, there is a storm on the sea, Jesus walks on water, and the disciples see him.  Jesus speaks to the disciples to calm them, and Peter responds with an amazing reaction of faith.  He says, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.”  He is finally getting it.  With Christ, and only through Christ (and the Holy Spirit), he will increase.

Who are we to become and at what cost?  John had to decrease for Christ to increase.  As Christ increased, Peter was able to increase as well.  Peter’s increase led to the increase of the church, but eventually he too decreased so that future generations could increase.  What is your role and your purpose in Christ?

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

 

P.S. This is my 150th post.

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Matthew 11 – Reactions

When Jesus had finished giving instructions to His twelve disciples, He departed from there to teach and preach in their cities.”  When i read this, I take it as Jesus instructing and sending out the disciples and while they are sent out to do the work of ministry, He is going to their home cities to teach and preach.  It seems almost like a mentality of, “You go take care of these places and meanwhile I have your back.  I am going to make sure your families and friends are taken care of. ”  It’s like His reaction to their stepping out is to take care of those they care about.

Meanwhile, John the Baptist, the one who recognized Jesus conception from the womb and leapt in his mother’s womb at His presence, the one who prepared the way for Jesus, the one who told Jesus that he couldn’t baptize Him because he was not even worthy to untie His sandals, the one who heard the voice of God (YHWH) speaking and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Jesus, the one who said, “He must increase, and I must decrease”, that John; He has set for too long and has come to the point of wondering and doubting that which He had previously known beyond a shadow of a doubt.  So he sends his disciples, the ones that are left, to Jesus to ask if He is the one.  Jesus reaction is not one of disgust that John is even asking such a thing and reacting in such a way, but His reaction is to tell them to observe and report.  That that is the answer for John’s doubt.  There is no criticism of John, only comfort.

Meanwhile, Jesus begins to respond to the reaction of the cities He has already been to.  He had preached, and taught, and healed, and done miracles, and called them to repentance, yet they had not.  They had continued doing what they knew was wrong and treating Jesus teaching like a passing fad.  So Jesus pronounces “Woe” on them.  They rejected the message, so that reaction is going to affect their standing on the judgment day.

Finally, Jesus calls for a reaction from the people.  The conclusion to the chapter is, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

So what is your and my reaction to His message?

 

John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 10 – Sent Ones

The word Apostle in Greek is Apostolos which means a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders.  The basic understanding is that it is one sent (with specific orders).  It is someone who has been directed to leave, go somewhere and do something specific.  In today’s church, our closest example would be a missionary.

Here in Matthew 10 we see Jesus sending out disciples, giving them specific instructions about where to go and what to do.  It is a primer for ministry.  Start with your own people, “go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as you go, 1)preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’  2)Heal  the sick, 3)raise the dead, 4)cleanse the lepers, 5)cast out demons. Freely you received, 6)freely give.  Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts…

With these commands we begin to see that basic ministry is one part preaching and a whole lot more parts “ministering” to people.  Being a disciple / apostle of Christ means not only preaching, but going and doing.  It’s not 90% teaching / preaching and 10% doing, it’s preaching, with a whole lot more reaching than anything else.

Is this what we are doing?

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 4 – Preparation

There are quite a few really interesting things going on in this chapter.  It is full of details and ideas that really make you think… or should make you think.  For instance, why did Jesus go into the wilderness?  Did He go to spend time with His Father?  Was He looking for clarification or direction?  Did He need some time of peace and quiet so that He could rest and prepare for His coming ministry?  Did He choose to go into the wilderness, or was he sent or led there?  Verse one says, “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness…”  So this was a directed thing.  It was something that the Holy Spirit was directing Him to do, and not necessarily something that He was pursuing on His own.

So we know that he was led there.  Strong’s definition for the word used for “led” is:

to lead up; by extension to bring out; specifically to sail away: – bring (again, forth, up again), depart, launch (forth), lead (up), loose, offer, sail, set forth, take up.

So He was led like the wind leads a sail boat.  With enough work, a sail boat CAN move against the wind, but it is much faster and easier for a sailboat to accept and be led by the wind.

This again leads us to the question, why?   Why was He led into the wilderness…  time with the Father?  …seeking direction?  …rest & preparation?  Maybe any or all of these are related to why Jesus went into the wilderness, but the big, major reason is defined in verse one.  “Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.”  So Jesus whole reason and purpose for being in the wilderness was to be tempted.  That’s quite the statement isn’t it?  Jesus was led (like a sailing ship) into the wilderness to be tempted.  What is Jesus thought about this time / season?  Well, two chapters later Jesus is teaching His disciples about prayer and He directs them to pray “And DO NOT lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil.”  That’s quite the statement isn’t it!  He has gone through it, and now He basically tells His disciples, “You do NOT want to do that!”

If we continue on, we find Jesus fasting for 40 days and 40 nights.  How many of us have fasted in our lives?  I know that I have.  Usually we fast for a reason, we have a question that needs an answer.  We have a problem that needs a result.  We need to reconnect to God / YHWH.  All of these are reasons we fast.  We fast in order to hear from and connect / reconnect to YHWH.  Jesus fasts here for 40 days and 40 nights, after finishing His fast, the very first voice he hears… is the tempter.  When we fast, whose voice do we expect to hear?  Do we fast to hear from the tempter or from YHWH?  Does that mean that we always hear from God, or even from God first?  We may pursue God, but we must be careful that the first word we hear while seeking YHWH may be the tempter rather than the Father.

There’s so much more to this chapter.  Please, please, take some time to study it… but then i could say the same thing about every other chapter of the Bible as well.

Blessings,

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

P.S. Also of note, this is what happens directly after the Holy Spirit comes upon Him, and YHWH tells the world, “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased!”

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Matthew 3 – John the Baptist

John the Baptist had a purpose for his life.  He was to prepare the way for the coming Messiah.  His purpose was to point people to THE Christ.  His primary message was, “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand!”  Once the Christ came, he was to decrease so that Christ could increase.

How often do young people, and even older people, seek purpose for their lives?  How often do they pursue understanding for who they are, and what they are to do and become?  But, what if we did know?  What if we did know that we were to prepare the way for something great… and then, that’s it.  What if we knew that we would spend years and years of our lives dedicated to the work of preaching, teaching, calling, etc.  Then it would lead up to ONE day!  …one minute!  …one moment!  And then… what?

You’ve just spent your entire life getting ready and it’s over.  Now “He must increase, and I must decrease.”  None of the rest of it matters all that much.  Your purpose is done, and the rest of your life is mostly meaningless.  Not only for that to happen, but to know that that was going to happen.  Wow, that’s tough.

I really wonder if in today’s world we could handle knowing the truth?  I really wonder if we aren’t so caught up in ourselves that if God / YHWH actually told us what we wanted to know, how many of us would simply run away.  There are those that would say that in those times people were made of sterner stuff.  I don’t know to what extent i would agree with that.  People are people.  Someone may be taught to be stronger, better, wiser… whatever, but we are still made of the same stuff.

Would you or I be able to simply let go, knowing that our purpose has been served and we have nothing left but to push people away and tell them to follow something else… not because we had done something wrong, but because we had done it all right?  John the Baptist was an amazing man.  He lived the life  that YHWH had made him f or, then when that moment was over, he decreased so that Christ could increase.  I don’t know if i could do that.

 

Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.

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Matthew 2 – Coming Together

This is one of those things that i find so awesome about the Bible and the scriptures.  How even the little things mean a whole lot.  And, how everything seems to just come together.  It becomes clear that God is a step ahead of man and his work… or hundreds, even thousands of years ahead.  In this chapter we see AT LEAST four different prophecies being fulfilled in those first years of His life.

What’s even more interesting to me is that of these four prophecies, three of them seem to be contradictory of one another.  The first one states that from Bethlehem of Judah will come forth the ruler (Messiah).  Thus Jesus, the Christ, is born in Bethlehem.  The second says that “Out of Egypt I called My Son”.  So the Messiah is to come out of Egypt… wasn’t He supposed to come out of Bethlehem of Judah, not Egypt?  Yet here He is, the Messiah coming out of Egypt as well.  Then there’s the prophecy that, “He shall be called a Nazarene.”  He shall be called a Nazarene because He came out of Nazareth.  So now we have three different conflicting prophecies being fulfilled by the same child.

This is what i love about the scriptures.  In what seems like an insurmountable conflict and opposing ideas, there is a smooth and elegant solution that surpasses and bypasses our lack of understanding.  Prior to understanding how all of this comes together in the end, these three passages could almost seem impossible to reconcile together.  Yet God / YHWH brought it all together.  That brings us back to the conflict mentioned in chapter 1’s post.  The conflict seems almost insurmountable with no real answer in sight, and it may remain that way through your entire life.  Yet, as we can see from this chapter; what seems impossible to man, is more than possible with God / YHWH.

I have answers to the conflict of Chapter 1, but i will not give them at this time.  Faith, Hope, and Love abide.  In this conflict, pursue those things.

Rev. John Camiolo

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